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Published on: 24/03/2015

Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen On Friday 22 March, Dutch water professionals gathered in Amsterdam to celebrate World Water Day and to discuss "Water and Sustainable Development”. 2015 is the year the Sustainable Development Goals will be adopted, and central to the celebration was the water goal: "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all '.

How can we create a future that we want? How can we realise that everyone will have access to water and sanitation by 2030? BNR news journalist Rens de Jong was the chairman for the day and he invited keynote speakers, pitches and workshops to address these questions. Particularly interesting was the attention for finance. Minister Schultz van Haegen told her audience that according to her the focus in developing countries should be on how to finance long-term prevention and planning. 

The Green MEP Bas Eickhout also raised this issue. “The most important meeting of this year is not the meeting in September when the United Nations Summit will adopt the post-2015 development agenda, nor the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in December. It is the meeting on finance in July in Addis Ababa," he said. In July, countries will send their highest possible political representatives to negotiate policy and practice, among them Heads of State or Government, relevant ministers – ministers for finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation. So it is an extremely important year. The Sustainable Development Goals aim high. It means that everyone needs to put in all efforts to achieve them. 

Green MEP Bas Eickhout

The afternoon of World Water Day in Amsterdam was interactive and the plenary session was followed by workshops organised by Water for All, Netherlands Water Partnership (NWP), Both ENDS, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Dutch WASH Alliance and Wetlands International. 

About World Water Day

In 1993, the United Nations declared 22 March World Water Day to create awareness on national and global water issues. UN Water describes World Water Day as follows. "A day to celebrate, a day to change, a day to prepare.” 

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