African countries to meet in December to improve water management - UN

17 November 2003

More than 40 African countries will meet next month to work out targets for the improved management of continental water supplies at a conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the United Nations regional commission for Africa said today.

The first Pan African Implementation and Partnership Conference on Water (PANAFCON), meeting 8 to 13 December, "will help to determine how we can collectively implement the actions spelled out in international instruments, such as the African Water Vision 2025, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the water agenda of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)," said Dr. Josue Dione, chairman of the UN-Water/Africa Secretariat.

The MDGs, worked out at a UN summit in 2000, are designed to halve extreme poverty worldwide by 2015.

Dr. Dione, who is also the director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) Sustainable Development Division, said PANAFCON would seek commitments from countries and from regional bodies to reach implementation targets and build international support, together with their development partners.

During the conference, some key initiatives would be launched, including the African Water Facility, an investment mechanism for water resource management. Two new publications would be created - the African Water Journal and the African Water Development Report, the Secretariat said.

Co-sponsors of the conference include ECA, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

Other co-sponsors are the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the African Development Bank (AfDB), the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Ethiopian Ministry of Water Resources.


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