OSCE and water challenges

2 April 2015
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Image PlaceholderWater scarcity, lack of access to water, and pollution are potential triggers for tensions and conflicts. But water can also be a source of co-operation: jointly managing water can lead to improved relations among countries and communities, and can enhance security and sustainable development.

The OSCE has a comprehensive approach to security therefore water has been an essential element of its work, in particular within the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC).

This year, World Water Day highlighted the interdependence of water and sustainable development. In addition to its long-standing commitment to sustainable development, the OSCE will focus, throughout 2015, on water as a strategic resource: Serbia's OSCE Chairmanship has made it a priority by dedicating this year’s Economic and Environmental Forum to water governance.

With this special edition of OSCE LINK, we invite you to find out about the OSCE’s approach to water governance and our projects and activities in this field.

Halil Yurdakul Yigitgüden
Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities

Video: Water is Security

Water is a strategic resource and an essential element of national and regional security. Watch our video to learn about how the OSCE works to make water a resource for co-operation and not competition.

Governing water – preventing conflicts

Challenges and opportunities related to water remain high on the OSCE agenda, reflecting the Organization's comprehensive approach to security. Read More

World Water Day: OSCE and water governance

Countering the challenges posed by the nexus of food, water, energy and climate change requires joint efforts, since they erase boundaries both within societies and between states, said OSCE Chairperson-in-Office, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić on the occasion of World Water Day. OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier sees co-operative water governance as a catalyst for sustainable development and comprehensive security. Read More

First Preparatory Meeting of the 23rd OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum

Water governance in the OSCE area – increasing security and stability through co-operation is the theme of the 2015 Economic and Environmental Forum. Read more about the role of water governance in the development of environmental sustainability and economic and social prosperity and stability.

Water diplomacy

According to UN-Water, water scarcity already affects more than 40 percent of the people across the world. How can states work together to preserve and share this precious resource? Learn More

Devastating floods in the Western Balkans in May 2014

The worst flooding seen in the past 120 years left hundreds of thousands of people homeless, without electricity or drinking water. Many towns and villages in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia were completely under water. Learn more about the OSCE's assisatance to the areas affected by the floods.

OSCE's environmental activities

Recognizing the close connection between environmental issues and security, the OSCE assists participating States with the sustainable use and sound management of natural resources. It supports projects to improve water management, deal with soil degradation and dispose safely of toxic and radioactive waste. It works to raise environmental awareness and promote public participation in environmental decision-making. Learn More
OSCE Cafés bring OSCE officials together with people interested in security issues in an informal, social setting. They are a rare chance to sit down and converse face-to-face with the people doing the OSCE’s work. The event series kicked off in Vienna’s traditional Café Korb in July 2014 and is held in different cities in the OSCE region.

Coming up: OSCE Café on Water and security, Vienna, 14 April 2015

For information about dates, venues and registration please contact: oscecafe@osce.org.
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