75th anniversary of the United Nations
75 years ago, after the end of WW2, the United Nations were founded in Washington/USA in October 1945, with their charter already having been signed in June ’45. UN organisations were gradually installed, e.g. the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in October 1945, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November ‘45, the World Health Organization WHO in 1948, the World Meteorological Organization WMO in May 1950 and the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP in June 1972. After its foundation in 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany has contributed i.a. by establishing the German Secretariat to the UNESCO (IHP) and WMO (HWRP) water programmes since 1974/1975. These activities, along with further mandates (e.g. by UNEP), have been combined under the auspices of the International Centre for Water Resources and Global Change (ICWRGC) at the Federal Institute of Hydrology in Koblenz since 2014. At present, the UN activities in the water sector are distributed among 32 institutions with a coordinated mechanism under the aegis of UN Water. UN Water was founded in 2003, but its origins date back as far as 1977, when the “UN Intersecretariat Group for Water Resources” took up its work in New York. Against this international background, ICWRGC is guided by an interministerial group (National Committee) chaired by the Foreign Office.
Since 2011, 193 countries, and thus almost all states of the world, are members of the United Nations.