The Youth Event took place on the kick-off day for the International Year of Water Cooperation. On 11 February, the youth event for the launching of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation organized by UNESCO took place in Paris. Twenty MSc and PhD students of UNESCO-IHE attended this event to share their knowledge and ideas on water cooperation.
The International Year of Water Cooperation was launched at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters on the same day. Young people have played a significant role in the celebrations participating in the parallel Youth Event organized by UNESCO at the Water Pavilion in Paris.
Twenty UNESCO-IHE MSc students and PhD fellows attended the event and worked together with students from Fukushima (Japan), universities in France and members of the Youth Parliament of Water.
Communities of Young People Tackle Water Problems
They shared their experiences and prepared the Youth Declaration on water cooperation. UNESCO-IHE students focused in their presentations on projects in different continents: Africa, Asia, Latin America emphasizing water problems and solutions taken by communities and young people.
Vivid discussions were held after the presentations where students experienced cooperation facing problems such as different languages, cultures, ages and experiences. In a plenary all the Youth Declaration points were discussed in order to draft the final document.
The event ended with the words of UNESCO representatives and the reading of the Youth Declaration by several students in the presence of Authorities of UNESCO, the Paris Municipality, Embassies and representatives of the Water Sector. It was a great experience where our students demonstrated they are taking a leading role as a water professional in their field.
Miguel M. de Franca Doria, Assistance Programme Specialist of UNESCO's Natural Science section stated: "The feedback received from the youth participants was very positive and the connections established by the them during the event will certainly lead to future collaboration."
Youth Declaration International Year of Water Cooperation
Download the Youth Declaration here:
Kick-off International Year of Water Cooperation.