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Pascal Canfin’s participation in the launch of the International Year of Water Cooperation (Paris, February 11, 2013)

Pascal Canfin, Minister Delegate for Development, will today participate, at UNESCO’s headquarters, in the official ceremony to launch the International Year of Water Cooperation.

This ceremony will bring together representatives of intergovernmental organizations as well as scientists and experts from all over the world. The highlights marking the Year will be presented at this time. An exhibition entitled “Water at the heart of science” will also be opened.

Access to water and sanitation poses an enormous challenge. At least 11% of the world’s population, i.e. 783 million people, still don’t have access to drinking water. More than 40% of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. 2.5 billion people still don’t have access to basic sanitation. Moreover, improved management of water resources remains more necessary than ever in order to meet climate and environmental standards and crisis prevention objectives.

In this context, the UN General Assembly declared 2013 the “International Year of Water Cooperation.” It aims to promote cooperation in all its forms, notably with respect to sustainable development, climate change and food security.

France welcomes this decision by the UN General Assembly and UNESCO’s efforts to organize this Year. It will actively participate in it. France, which has played a leading role within the World Health Organization in promoting the adoption of a resolution on water, sanitation and health, remains fully committed to ensuring that access to drinking water and sanitation is recognized as a human right by the UN General Assembly.

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