United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

United States of America (Part 1)

CSD-13 Interactive Discussion on Water
Remarks by Aaron Salzberg, U.S. Department of State
April 12, 2005
Thank you Madam Chair. I would like to directly address the question you raised of
?who should do this and how.? That is exactly the right question to ask. As Chairman
Ashe said yesterday, the goal of the two-year implementation cycle is to advance
implementation of the policy options and put forward practical measures that can achieve
real results on the ground.
To address your question, I want to highlight two mechanisms that interested countries
can work through to advance implementation of the policy options on IWRM contained
within the Matrix from the Intersessional Preparatory Meeting. Before I do, I want to
stress that by discussing these two, we are not suggesting that these are ? or should be ?
the only two mechanisms or partnerships for addressing IWRM. In fact, our hope is that
many more partnerships and mechanisms like these emerge ? forming a broad-based
network that can advance implementation.
The two partnerships I want to highlight are the Global Water Partnership and the UNDP
Shared Rivers Program. The first, the Global Water Partnership, has become a focal
point for parties interested in supporting the development and implementation of IWRM
plans in developing countries. Several donor countries are working through this effort,
and we expect that 18-20 countries throughout the world will receive support through this
mechanism. In addition to donors, other key actors -- such as UNDP the GEF, and --
most importantly -- the recipient countries themselves -- are involved. By working
together, we are raising the profile of IWRM, enhancing understanding of the importance
of integrated management, and hopefully building the willingness of other parties to work
on this issue with us. By working through a common framework, we can conduct a more
comprehensive "gap analysis" identifying those countries that might need particular help
-- something we alone could not do.
The second program I wish to highlight is the UNDP Shared Waters Program ? a
program which brings together multiple donors working with multiple developing
countries to build the capacity of countries and regional institutions to address shared
water issues. We all know that such issues are politically sensitive, and no action can be
taken without the clear expressed desire of the riparians themselves. In such cases where
the riparians want assistance , UNDP has developed a mechanism by which expertise,
whether in capacity building, institution building or facilitation, can be provided.
UNDP?s Shared Waters Program fills a special niche, providing flexible and timely
support to countries at critical points in the process of shared waters management.
Through this program, our resources have helped countries articulate a joint plan or
strategy for management of a shared basin and facilitated funding from more traditional
sources such as the GEF and the World Bank. Most importantly both the GWP and the
UNDP are advancing participatory decision making, transparency and accountability ?
hallmarks of good governance. They are also showing results on the ground. These
programs are not a substitute for traditional bilateral programs. Instead, they complement
our traditional approaches by allowing us to overcome problems that we alone could not
solve.
We feel that these two initiatives are one answer to the question of who should do it. Our
hope is that many more mechanisms and partnerships like these emerge during CSD 13,
and that we can link them together to facilitate the exchange of best practices, lessons
learned and the identification of gaps in assistance. This would be a good CSD outcome.