UN-HABITAT will play a key role at the 3rd World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan, to mark World Water Day on 18 March, where it will raise issues of concern about how cities cope with water management. At the opening ceremony, the agency will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Asian Development Bank aimed at forging a new Water for Asian Cities partnership similar to UN-HABITAT's highly successful Water for African Cities programme.
UN-HABITAT will participate in a high-level discussion of senior officials on "A road map for achieving the Millennium Development Goals." Other meetings will include sessions on "Water for Asian Cities", "Financing Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor". UN Under Secretary-General Anna Tibaijuka, UN-HABITAT's Executive Director, will use the occasion of World Water Day to launch a new report on water and sanitation prepared by the agency.
The report deals with the growing problems many cities in developing countries, especially in Asia, Africa and Latin America have in managing water and sanitation, and how conditions can be alleviated in slums where people, especially women and children, are confronted daily with the dangers of disease and crime when they are forced to trudge long distances to collect household water or use unhygienic public latrines. The report is entitled: "Water and Sanitation in the World's Cities: Local Action for Global Goals".