The World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Mr. Michel Jarraud and Mr. Albert Diphoorn, UN-Habitat Urban Basic Services Branch Coordinator, this week took office as chair and vice-chair respectively of UN-Water for a customary two-year term. Both were elected at UN-Water’s 15th meeting in Stockholm in August 2011.
They take office at a time the growing global population, especially the growth of cities now turning the planet into an urban world, food security and environmental degradation mean that the United Nations needs to raise the international alarm on this most precious of natural resources.
Added to these climate change problems: “Adaptation to climate change will require better water management and more sharing of information and data about water resources”, said Mr. Jarraud.
UN-Water, established in 2003, coordinates and strengthens the work of 29 United Nations agencies and bodies on freshwater matters.
Mr Jarraud and Mr Diphoorn assume their duties as the Rio+20 Summit on sustainable development and poverty reduction where they will bring the water agenda to the fore in a new bid to accelerate progress on the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
“We need to deal with these challenges especially in a context of rapid and unsustainable urbanization and plan water for today, and also future generations,” said Mr. Diphoorn.