Nordic/Baltic seminar on the subject of “Drinking water and sanitation in a Nordic and Baltic perspective – common challenges and collaboration”

The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services in cooperation with the Nordic Council of Ministers wishes to invite Nordic and Baltic decision-makers from ministries with responsibilities in the fields of drinking water and sanitation, development and aid (for instance the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment) , and their relevant subordinate agencies, to this seminar to be held the 7th and 8th of November 2012 in Oslo, Norway. The seminar is also linked to the programme of work of the UNECE/WHO-Europe Protocol on Water and Health.

 

Introduction

The access to clean and safe drinking water is vital and it is recognized as a basic human right by the United Nations General Assembly (Resolution A/HRC/15/L.14 of 28th July 2010) and affirmed by the Human Rights Council in its resolution of 30th September 2010 (A/HRC/15/L.14). Recognizing that there are many ways in which drinking water could be polluted; high occurrence of microbes in water with inadequate purification, inflow of microbes caused by leaking water- and sanitation pipelines or chemical pollution, often caused by agriculture and/or industry, these challenges still create problems – also in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

Some of the Nordic countries have requested a closer collaboration in the field of drinking water and sanitation. As part of the Norwegian Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2012 Norway wishes to use this opportunity to follow up on this request.

Amongst the Nordic and Baltic countries Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have all ratified the 1999 UNECE/WHO Europe Protocol on water and health, while Iceland Sweden and Denmark have signed the Protocol, but not yet ratified it. The objective of the Protocol is to protect human health and well being by introducing improved water management, better protection of water ecosystems, improved surveillance and disease control. The meeting will explore how the Protocol can be a useful tool to deal with our common challenges.

The Protocol invites the Parties to engage in support and assistance to enable all Parties to implement the overall goals of the Protocol and by this improve the number of people having access to clean water and adequate sanitation, the sustainability of water resources management and human well-being. We therefore suggest that the seminar also could exchange views on how the special mechanism under the Protocol on project facilitation can be instrumental in aid and assistance policies in our countries.

"Scope and purpose" for this seminar:

  • What challenges do we have in the Nordic/Baltic countries in this area? Do we have any common challenges? (How is the field of drinking water and sanitation organised in the different countries, intersectoral coordination, vulnerability of our the water supply systems, climate change, Water Safety Plans, health surveillance and combating illnesses caused by polluted drinking water.)
  • Is there a basis for closer Nordic/Baltic collaboration in the field of drinking water and sanitation?
  • How can the UNECE/WHO Europe Protocol on Water and Health help to address these challenges?
  • How can the Nordic /Baltic countries benefit from the competence and project facilitation developed under the Protocol to establish a better and coordinated targeted aid and assistance policy in the water and sanitation sector

Practical information

The working language of the meeting will be English. The seminar will be held at the Quality Airport Hotel Gardermoen which is situated 5 minutes by shuttle bus from Oslo’s main airport. By registering at our web site you may also book a hotel room at this hotel. The cost is NOK 1.080,- per night. Making use of the hotel’s telephones and minibars etc. will be charged the participants. For more information on the hotel see their website;  https://www.nordicchoicehotels.no/Quality/Quality-Airport-Hotel-Gardermoen/

The attendance of up to three participants from each Baltic country will be covered by the organizers. For assistance with flight reservations Baltic participants are asked to contact:

Mrs. Anita Johansen Klem,
The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services
E-mail:

Registration

Please register within Wednesday the 24th of October 2012. Go to the registration form

For further information please contact:

Mr. Kjetil Tveitan
The Norwegian Minstry of Health and Care Services
E-mail:
Tlf: + 47 91548210 or

Mrs. Solveig Eik
The Norwegian Minstry of Health and Care Services
E-mail:
Tlf. +47 22 24 83 49 or

Mr. Morten Nicholls
The Norwegian Food Safety Authority
E-mail:
Tlf. +47 23 21 66 61.


 

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