World Water Day message from Dundee UNESCO IHP HELP CentreAs we look forward to the 2013 Year of International Cooperation on Water, we explore how ouractivities at the Dundee IHP-HELP Centre might contribute to this important mission.As a Category II UNESCO Centre, we have agreed to support UNESCO in the following ways:(i) to provide a facility that promotes an interdisciplinary approach to addressing global water issueswith a focus on poverty reduction and international development issues (including the UnitedNations Millennium Development Goals related to water), and, including water law (international,national and transnational water law) as an essential and integral element thereof;(ii) to provide the intellectual leadership necessary in achieving this approach and to establish adedicated institution for the dissemination of relevant research and scholarship on the topic,available to the global water-concerned community worldwide and aimed at generating goodwillwith the international community;(iii) to communicate legal expertise on global water issues for the HELP Programme of the UNESCOIHP, especially through the IHP-HELP Regional Coordinating Units, as well as to support the otherwater-related activities of IHP;(iv) to act as the Regional Coordinating Unit for the European HELP basins and proactively interactwith other HELP Regional Coordinating Units.These objectives align directly with the UN International Year of Water Cooperation by providing aplatform for meaningful engagement across disciplines with a broad range of stakeholders. One ofthe key challenges remains addressing the diverse spectrum of challenges connected with integratedwater resources management -- at the local, national, regional, international and global levels.Where all needs for water cannot be met and accommodations are required to be made -- for social,environmental, or economic reasons -- it is important to find a credible and responsive pathway tofacilitate cooperation. The Dundee UNESCO HELP Centre seeks to do this through its research andgraduate teaching and training, working closely with our HELP network, including through Scotland’sTweed basin in Scotland, which has been designated a HELP demonstration basin, providing a solidfoundation for our integrated research work in water law, policy and science.
The global water challenge nonetheless persists and remains one of the most important andcomplex issues affecting the economic, social and environmental well-being of local and globalcommunities around the world. Our own Scottish Government, with its innovative Hydro-Nationinitiative is making its contribution to this issue. We also note the contribution of the Global WaterPartnership in their support for IWRM and in implementing the Knowledge Chain scholarshipprogramme.On the occasion of World Water Day 2012 the Dundee UNESCO HELP Centre calls for:1. meaningful engagement with stakeholders at all levels for the integrated and cooperativedevelopment and management of the worlds water resources;2. increased support from national governments for the higher education and training of local waterleaders capable of tackling the complex issues linked to effective and peaceful management ofshared water resources;3. enhanced leadership across the UNESCO HELP network in ways that progress the mission ofUNESCO in the water field, aligned with the IHP strategy for the current and future period.Professor Patricia WoutersDirector, Dundee UNESCO HELP CentreUniversity of Dundee, Scotland, UKwww.dundee.ac.uk/water22 March 2012 – World Water Day