The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) was awarded the 6th King Hassan II Great World Water Prize by the Government of Morocco and the World Water Council at the recent 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil. This award, one of the highest distinctions in the water sector, recognises excellence in “cooperation and sound management in the development and use of water resources”, with OECD receiving US$100,000 along with the prize.
During the opening ceremony of the 8th World Water Forum, Angel Gurria, the Secretary-General of the winning organisation, described receiving the prize as a great honour. He went on to highlight the damning water issues the world continues to face.
“More than two billion people globally live in countries with excess water stress, while there are challenges that don’t even make the headlines and are devastating,” he said. “One example is the millions of girls who are prevented from going to school, simply because there is no toilet. We need to make these shocking statistics a thing of the past.”
The OECD, based in Paris, France, has been recognised for its work in elevating water security as a crucial issue, ensuring greater visibility globally for a wide range of associated issues and providing policy guidance on water security to OECD members as well as non-OECD nations.
Now in its 6th edition, the King Hassan II Great World Water Prize is a world-renowned and prestigious policy tool, jointly established by the Kingdom of Morocco and the World Water Council, paying tribute to His Majesty, the late King Hassan II. The prize is awarded every three years at the World Water Forum by an international jury, and operates under the overarching theme of cooperation and solidarity in the fields of management and development of water resources.
Led by Charafat Afailal El Yedri, Secretary of State for the Moroccan Ministry of Equipment, Transport, Logistics and Water, the jury for this year’s edition focused on rewarding candidates specifically for working towards “greater solidarity and inclusion in order to ensure water security and climate justice.”