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Monday, April 23, 2018

Mexico and UNESCO Sign Accord for Regional Center for Water Security

Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The center's aim is to improve water security and strengthen cooperation on water security, especially in Latin American and Caribbean countries

In close coordination with the Mexican Institute of Water Technology (IMTA) and the Engineering Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (IINGEN-UNAM), the Foreign Ministry signed an agreement to establish a Regional Center for Water Security (CERSHI) in Mexico under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

At a ceremony on April 17 at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray and UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay signed an agreement to create the first Center for Water Security in Mexico. Its main purpose is to improve water security given the hydro-meteorological risks associated with extreme weather or events that compromise water quality.  The center will also strengthen cooperation on water security, especially in Latin American and Caribbean countries.

The 39th UNESCO General Conference held in Paris from October 30-November 14, 2017 unanimously approved creating a CERSHI in Mexico under the auspices of UNESCO.

Once established, the center will represent a big step towards fulfilling Sustainable Development Goal 6 of the 2030 Agenda, to "ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all."

The Center will engage in water security research, training, educational activities and technical support, both regionally and globally, while helping to achieve the goals of the UNESCO International Hydrological Program (IHP) and, especially, Sustainable Development Goal 6.

Mexico's valuable experience in studying and managing water for more than 40 years as part of the IHP will be used at this Center to solve problems and strengthen cooperation with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, and other developing countries.

To date, there are 36 UNESCO water centers, including the Category 2 centers managed and financed by the member countries that proposed their establishment.  The Mexican CERSHI will be part of the Latin American network of centers.

IMTA Director General Felipe I. Arreguín Cortés and Dr. Luis A. Álvarez Icaza Longoria, Director of IINGEN-UNAM, leading institutions in the study of water and the driving forces behind Mexico's initiative to establish a regional center in its territory, were witnesses of honor at the signing.

The Mexican government reaffirms its commitment to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda by forming strategic partnerships and contributing to the improvement of the quality of life in the region. 

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Press release, Apr. 17, 2018, Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE); translation SRE

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