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The Geneva Press Club - Club suisse de la Presse,
in collaboration with the Geneva Water Hub and OOSKA news,
has the pleasure to invite the international press, the Swiss press
and its members to the press conference entitled :

Water as a Matter of Survival: 

Launch of the global media platform “The Water Diplomat”

 Friday, October 4th 2019 from 9am until 10am
« La Pastorale » Route de Ferney 106, 1202 Genève
(Bus 5 – Direction : Aéroport – Arrêt : Intercontinental)
With
 

Dr. Danilo Türk
Chair of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace 

Mr. François Münger
Director of the Geneva Water Hub

Mr. Johan Gély
Head of the Global Water Programme at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

Mrs. Adjaratou Khouredia Ndiaye
Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Senegal

Mr. David Duncan
Director of OOSKAnews

Mr. Dagim Gesese Terefe
Freelance Journalist and Global Goodwill Ambassador of Ethiopia


════════════════════
 

Executive Summary

Freshwater management is a major challenge of our century. It continuously evolves between situations of tension, conflict and cooperation in a dynamic way. As a vital and irreplaceable element increasingly under threat, freshwater is fundamental to ensuring food security, energy and industry needs, public health goals, among other areas. It is also the most visible aspect and a central element of climate change. More than a full-fledged sustainable development goal, water is the cornerstone of the stability of our societies.

Media engagement is instrumental to raise awareness on water issues. In a move to bridge the gap on hydropolitical information and trigger the interest of the public and the media, the Geneva Water Hub and the world’s leading publisher on water OOSKAnews jointly launched the global media platform “The Water Diplomat”, a free monthly news and intelligence resource specialised in hydropolitics. This project pursues the goal of promoting access to political stakes of water management that are making news around the world.

The Geneva Water Hub is a global centre of excellence on hydrodiplomacy attached to the University of Geneva and plays a central part in the Blue Peace movement supported by Switzerland. The Geneva Water Hub fulfils the mandate of promoting water as an instrument of peace and conflict prevention. It hosts the Secretariat of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace that produced in 2017 the milestone report “A Matter of Survival”, which explores the link between water, peace and security and outlines recommendations aiming to meet the water challenges. The Geneva Water Hub is actively engaged in the promotion and implementation of the Panel’s recommendations.
 

Background

Freshwater management is a major challenge of our century. It continuously evolves between situations of tension, conflict and cooperation in a dynamic way. Water is threatened in many contexts whether on the grounds of shortage or pollution sources. As a vital and irreplaceable element, freshwater is fundamental to ensuring food security, energy and industry needs, public health goals, among other areas. It is also the most visible aspect and a central element of climate change. More than a full-fledged sustainable development goal, water is the cornerstone of the stability of our societies.

As a centre of excellence on hydrodiplomacy with a global outreach attached to the University of Geneva, the Geneva Water Hub fulfils the mandate of promoting water as an instrument of peace and conflict prevention. It hosts the Secretariat of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace that produced in 2017 a study on the link between water, peace and security on the basis of a mandate bestowed by 15 countries. Their milestone report, entitled “A Matter of Survival” and translated in 5 languages, formulates recommendations on a set of strategic themes that provide a roadmap for reducing the growing tensions around the water resource. Further, it repositions water at the crossroad of the peace and sustainable development agenda. At the core of this positioning lies the principle that it is essential to recognize the political nature of water beyond the technical aspects by multiplying diplomatic efforts to better reconcile the multiple issues it covers. Since the release of the report, a number of steps have been taken to move from recommendation to action. These initiatives are part of the Blue Peace movement, supported by Switzerland, which brings together a group of stakeholders working on hydrodiplomacy.

The media, as a space of public opinion building, has a fundamental role to play in raising political awareness on water issues. However, to date, there is no media platform centralising and organising hydropolitical information in a consistent manner at a global level. The degree of complexity related to water issues further requires expertise in identifying and following the issues at stake and communicating on their evolution.

 

Launch of the media platform « The Water Diplomat »

In partnership with OOSKAnews, the world’s leading publisher of current international water news, the Geneva Water Hub has created "The Water Diplomat", a free monthly news and intelligence resource accessible online and through a newsletter. The media platform also offers in-depth analysis of experts through videocast interviews. The Water Diplomat project thus pursues the goal of promoting access to political stakes of water management that are making news around the world.

The media platform builds upon the work of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace by providing news pertaining to the various themes of the Panel’s report. That allows for the contextualisation of news in a general strategic framework and to report on challenges and progress on these areas over time. The evolution of hydropolitical situations in respective contexts becomes a subject of international interest insofar as, on the one hand, almost all countries are concerned in a short to medium term horizon by a more efficient management of their water resources and that on the other hand, a water crisis in a given country often triggers international spill over effects on commercial or other activities.

The Water Diplomat is aimed at any water professional, researcher, politician, diplomat, communication specialist, citizen wishing to learn about hydropolitics news. As a media platform, The Water Diplomat aims to serve as an intermediate source of information for national and local media interested in providing news in this area of expertise.

 
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Route de Ferney 106
La Pastorale
1202 Genève

T: +41(0) 22 546 14 44
F: +41(0) 22 546 14 45
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Club Suisse de la presse / Geneva Press Club · La Pastorale · 106 Route de Ferney · Geneva 1202 · Switzerland