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General Assembly

Distr: General
23 December 2003
Original: English

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Fifty-eighth session
Agenda item 95

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

[on the report of the Second Committee (A/58/485)]

58/217. International Decade for Action, "Water for Life", 2005-2015

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolution 55/196 of 20 December 2000, by which it proclaimed the year 2003 the International Year of Freshwater,

Emphasizing that water is critical for sustainable development, including environmental integrity and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human health and well-being,

Recalling the provisions of Agenda 21,/1 the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 adopted at its nineteenth special session,/2 the Plan of Implementation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development ("Johannesburg Plan of Implementation")/3 and the decisions of the Economic and Social Council and of the Commission on Sustainable Development at its sixth session/4 relating to freshwater,

Reaffirming the internationally agreed development goals on water and sanitation, including those contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration,/5 and determined to achieve the goal to halve, by the year 2015, the proportion of people who are unable to reach or to afford safe drinking water, and a similar goal set out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation,

Taking note of the contents of the United Nations World Water Development Report: Water for People, Water for Life,/6 a joint project of twenty-three specialized agencies and other United Nations entities, and other water-related collaborative mechanisms and initiatives,

Taking note also of the Ministerial Declaration entitled "Message from the Lake Biwa and Yodo River Basin", adopted on 23 March 2003, at the Ministerial Conference on the occasion of the Third World Water Forum, held in Kyoto, Japan,/7 and the Dushanbe Water Appeal, proclaimed on 1 September 2003 at the International Freshwater Forum, held in Dushanbe from 29 August to 1 September 2003,/8

1.Proclaims the period from 2005 to 2015 the International Decade for Action, "Water for Life", to commence on World Water Day, 22 March 2005;

2.Decides that the goals of the Decade should be a greater focus on water-related issues at all levels and on the implementation of water-related programmes and projects, while striving to ensure the participation and involvement of women in water-related development efforts, and the furtherance of cooperation at all levels, in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals contained in Agenda 21,/1 the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21,/2 the United Nations Millennium Declaration/5 and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation,/3 and, as appropriate, those identified during the twelfth and thirteenth sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development;

3.Welcomes the decision of the Commission on Sustainable Development at its eleventh session, as reflected in its multi-year programme of work, to consider water, sanitation and human settlements as the thematic cluster in the first cycle, 2004-2005,/9 and invites the Commission to work within existing resources to identify possible activities and programmes in connection with the Decade within the framework of its consideration of the thematic cluster of issues on water, sanitation and human settlements at its twelfth and thirteenth sessions, as provided for by its multi-year programme of work;

4.Invites the Secretary-General to take the appropriate steps to organize the activities of the Decade, taking into account the results of the International Year of Freshwater and the work of the Commission on Sustainable Development at its twelfth and thirteenth sessions;

5.Calls upon the relevant United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, regional commissions and other organizations of the United Nations system to deliver a coordinated response, utilizing existing resources and voluntary funds, to make "Water for Life" a decade for action.

78th plenary meeting
23 December 2003


1/ Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.93.I.8 and corrigenda), vol. I: Resolutions adopted by the Conference, resolution 1, annex II.

2/ Resolution S-19/2, annex.

3/ Report of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August-4 September 2002 (United Nations publication, Sales No. E.03.II.A.1 and corrigenda), chap. I, resolution 2, annex.

4/ See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 1998, Supplement No. 9 (E/1998/29).

5/ See resolution 55/2.

6/ United Nations publication, Sales No. E.03.II.A.2.

7/ A/57/785, annex.

/8 A/58/362, annex.

/9 See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2003, Supplement No. 9 (E/2003/29), chap. I, sect. A.