The former German capital, Bonn, will host the Secretariat of the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) Secretariat for the next five years, with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. UN-Habitat has announced the decision as the result of an open international call for a host organization for the GWOPA Secretariat launched in June 2019.
The United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, communicated the decision to the Federal Government of Germany on 31 October 2019, on the celebration of World Cities Day.
The hosting arrangement with the Government of Germany will support GWOPA in pursuing its mission to scale up peer-support partnerships (Water Operators’ Partnerships or WOPs) between water and sanitation service providers worldwide in support of the SDGs and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Complementing GWOPA’s project work, the German hosting will provide stable revenues to permit GWOPA to work globally in collaboration with regional partners over the coming five years.
Hosting twenty UN institutions and more than 150 NGOs, Bonn offers important networking and collaboration opportunities for GWOPA. The German bid to host GWOPA was supported by a dozen German-based organizations, including the governments of the City of Bonn and the State of North Rhine-Westphalia as well as the Government of the Netherlands, a long-standing supporter of WOPs. Bonn is well located close to GWOPA’s various European partners, notably those in the Netherlands and Brussels, where GWOPA is collaborating closely on the WaterWorX and European WOPs programmes.
Since 2013, the GWOPA Secretariat has been based in Barcelona, where support from the Government of Spain and the City of Barcelona has allowed GWOPA to help utilities around the world help one another.