The fulfillment of basic human needs, the environment, socio‐economic development and poverty reduction are all dependent on water. Cooperating around this precious resource is key for security, poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality.
“Water is central to the well‐being of people and the planet," Secretary‐General Ban Ki‐moon said in his video message for the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013. "We must work together to protect and carefully manage this fragile, finite resource."
Every action involving water management and use requires effective cooperation between multiple actors, whether at the local or the international scale. In recognition of this, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 to be the International Year of Water Cooperation, following a proposal from a group of Member States led by Tajikistan. World Water Day, celebrated on 22 March, is dedicated to the same theme this year. UNESCO, in collaboration with UNECE and UN DESA, is leading activities for both the Year and the Day on behalf of UN‐Water.