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Itaipu will host global water and energy conference
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24/01/2022

Itaipu Binacional will host the first Global Conference on Water and Energy in 2022. The proposal was announced and approved this Thursday (20), during the meeting of the 5th Steering Committee of the Sustainable Water and Energy Solutions Partnership, between Itaipu and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). Due to the protocols for dealing with the covid-19 pandemic, the date of the event has yet to be confirmed.


Photo by Sara Cheida/Itaipu Binacional.

The meeting was attended by the general directors of Itaipu, João Francisco Ferreira (Brazil) and Manuel María Cáceres Cardozo (Paraguay); the ambassadors of both countries to the UN, Ronaldo Costa Filho and Julio César Arriola Ramírez; and representatives of the various institutions that are part of the initiative.

The UN Under-Secretary-General, Liu Zhenmin, sent a message recorded on video, in which he thanked Itaipu's support for the initiative, and highlighted the partnership's achievements, such as the announcement of the Energy Compacts during the High-Level Political Forum, last September, and the event held in partnership with UNDESA, during the last Climate Conference (COP 26), in November, in Glasgow, Scotland. “Itaipu is an outstanding global leader in the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda”, praised Zhenmin, also emphasizing the urgency of international cooperation to fulfill these agendas to reverse the climate crisis.

The partnership between Itaipu and Undesa began in 2018, with a four-year work plan. Despite the limitations imposed by the pandemic, several goals were achieved, such as the creation of the Global Network of Sustainable Solutions in Water and Energy (which currently has 23 members from all continents); the implementation of a platform for the dissemination of good practices in the joint approach of Sustainable Development Goals 6 (water) and 7 (energy); the production of case studies and reports; and the holding of face-to-face seminars and webinars covering various topics related to these SDGs.

However, due to covid-19, the conference was not possible. Thus, the institutions decided to extend the partnership in 2022, to promote the event and other actions initially planned. The Global Conference will be held at Itaipu on a binational basis, with the participation of around 300 people from institutions around the world that work with water and energy. The program should include field visits to projects developed by Itaipu on the Brazilian and Paraguayan margins of the Parana River.

“Over these four years, we have had successful actions in sharing information and good practices, which allowed us to build a base that will allow even more effective actions throughout 2022, expanding the reach of the Global Network”, said the Brazilian General Director. “The conference will be an opportunity for Itaipu to reaffirm its commitment to sustainable development in the region and to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in partnership with local and international organizations,” added the Paraguayan General Director.

In their messages, the Brazilian and Paraguayan ambassadors highlighted the fact that Itaipu is a successful project of binational cooperation that, now, also contributes in the multilateral context of the UN, with effective actions in the generation of clean energy, and in the care of the environment and with the people. The expansion of the global network and the good results achieved despite the restrictions of the pandemic also caught the attention of diplomats.

The meeting of the Steering Committee takes place annually to approve the work plan and receive suggestions from the institutions involved. This Thursday's event, in addition to the authorities already nominated, was moderated by Mr. Minoru Takada, Team Leader (Energy), Division for Sustainable Development (UNDESA), and the participation of  Haitian Lu, Chief of the Capacity Development Programme Management Office (UNDESA); Helena Felip Salazar, General Director of Multilateral Policies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and national coordinator of the Paraguay SDG Commission; Sheila Oparaocha, executive director of Energy; Leena Srivastava, Deputy Director of Science at IIASA; Ricardo Andrade, director of the National Water Agency of Brazil; Manuel Menéndez Prieto, Director General of Water at the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition; María Haydée Jiménez, of the World Energy Council; and Eddie Rich, executive director of the International Hydropower Association (IHA).

Learn more about the Global Network: https://www.un.org/en/waterenergynetwork