Supporting the United Nations

UNESCO gave its formal recognition to IAH as an Associate Partner at the beginning of the year. Our aims in seeking co-operation in education and sciences correspond with those of UNESCO, and its Water Sciences Division has sought IAH’s co-operation since the early days of the Association.

We supported the UN’s World Toilet Day, which raises awareness of the 3.6 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. WTD 2022 built on the World Water Day campaign ‘Making the invisible visible’ and explored how inadequate sanitation systems spread human waste into rivers, lakes and soil, and can pollute underground water resources.

Elsewhere, our members participated in the UN ESCWA Arab Regional Preparatory Meeting for the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Water Action Decade; and supported groundwater issues at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27).

Our year ended in Paris in December, with the UN Groundwater Summit, the culmination of the UN’s 2022 campaign, “Groundwater: making the invisible visible”. This Summit focused on the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, intended to increase the rate of achieveing the goals. IAH hosted a session on innovation – new, smart practices and technologies to improve water and sanitation resources management and service delivery.

Lessons from this ‘year for groundwater’ were distilled into the key messages to take to the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York.