Terres et eaux


UN-Water is a mechanism to strengthen co-ordination and coherence among all UN bodies dealing with water-related issues, from health to farming, environment to energy, food to climate, and sanitation to disasters.

It was set up in 2003, through a decision by the High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP) of the United Nations. UN-Water evolved from many years of close collaboration among UN agencies and a firm belief that still more can be done to strengthen the UN system in its effort to work more effectively on water and sanitation issues, which are among the most urgent challenges of our time. UN-Water is not another agency. Instead, UN-Water adds value to existing UN programmes and projects and fosters more co-operation and information-sharing among UN agencies and outside partners.

To tackle the global water challenge and to meet the ambitious development and environment targets set by the international community, the United Nations recognized through the establishment of UN-Water the need to co-ordinate and use its resources for maximum impact and efficiency. UN-Water monitors progress towards water and sanitation targets and in particular those of the Millennium Development Goals and the World Summit on Sustainable Development

UN-Water Fast Facts 

  • UN-Water is a mechanism to strengthen co-ordination and coherence within the UN system.
  • UN-Water was established in 2003 by the High Level Committee on Programmes of the United Nations, which consists of senior-most programme managers of the organizations.
  • UN-Water has 25 members from the UN system and many external partners representing international organizations and civil society.
  • UN-Water has a rotating chair, vice-chair and a small secretariat.
  • Most activities of UN-Water are carried out by time-bound Task Forces and Programmes.
  • A number of flag-ship reports are produced through UN-Water: the World Water Development Reports, the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme Reports and the Global Annual Assessment on Sanitation and Drinking Water.
  • While the co-ordinating function of UN-Water is carried out by the members, some specific activities and programmes are supported by Donors Trust Funds.
  • UN-Water plays an important role in addressing emerging issues and provides a platform for developing inter-agency responses to tackle them.