Water and Sanitation (1)

12 May 2008




Sixteenth Session, New York, 05 – 16 May 2008


Statement by


Deputy Head of Delegation


on behalf of the European Union


Mr. Chair,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguised Delegates,


I have the honour to present this intervention on behalf of the European Union.


The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Montenegro, Serbia, as well as the Republic of Moldova, Armenia and Georgia align themselves with this statement.


·                      First of all, we would like to stress that the EU is fully committed to a thorough CSD13 decisions review by the CSD16. Moreover, we wish to go further than a mere stocktaking exercise. As this is the first review process under the framework of CSD, we want to make the special segment devoted to it a successful example underlining the strong added value of the CSD process.


·                      Then, we need to recall that water and sanitation are central to development. Efforts in this sector facilitate the achievement of other objectives as water is closely related to poverty alleviation, health, security and ecosystems preservation as well as to social aspects including education and gender perspectives. Moreover, water and sanitation are key crosscutting and interlinkage issues and as such should be included into sectoral policies particularly those of agriculture, energy, industry and forestry.


·                      Concerning the actions that the EU has implemented as regards CSD13 water-related decisions, a number of these decisions have been already implemented and the EU has made significant progress in many related aspects. Some of CSD13 decisions are no longer relevant in the EU context and others are already fully implemented. We have devoted specific resources both externally through cooperation and development policies and internally, through the development of key policies and legislation. These include national water supply, sanitation and Integrated Water Resources Management  policies, as well as specific water and water-related environmental legislation such as the Water Framework Directive; the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, complemented by many other specific directives related e.g. to urban wastewater, drinking water and nitrates. On the other hand, and in particular as regards cooperation and development policies, despite the fact that the EU has taken significant steps -in particular through the EU Water Initiative and the ACP-EU Water Facility- a lot remains to be done. In 2005, the EU has collectively committed €1.3 billions to water and sanitation with 45% committed to Africa.


·                      As regards access to water supply and sanitation, the EU considers that the international community must increase efforts towards the achievement of water-related MDGs and JPOI goals within the context of integrated approaches to water resources management;


·                      To achieve these goals, water should be set high in the political agenda of national Development strategies, Poverty Reduction Plans and national budgets. In addition, political commitment must be strengthened, ensuring among other issues, adequate financing for the sector and effective governance.


·                      Efforts should also be strengthened as regards capacity building with the support and implementation of continued activities to improve access to sanitation and drinking water, in particular for the poor;


·                      Finally, the EU considers the monitoring and following up of water and sanitation related decisions as a crucial means to further mobilize and streamline resources for water, sanitation and Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in order to achieve the targets of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation and the water-related Millennium Development Goals.


·                      In this respect, we recommend:

o         to make additional efforts within countries and at the global level for more regular and meaningful monitoring activities –including relevant criteria and reliable baselines- to measure progress towards the achievement of MDGs and JPOI goals in the view of adjusting implementation measures, having in mind the next important milestone of the CSD review session of 2012; and

o         to further support and strengthen UN processes, with a view to further coordinating water activities and in particular for developing UN Water monitoring, follow up and reporting ones, in coordination with other international processes, as initiated for the review.



Thank you.


* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.