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Nordic Council of Ministers to sponsor UN Ad Competition on Water

The United Nations in Brussels, in collaboration with the Nordic Council of Ministers, today launched a European Ad Competition called “The Future We Want – Drop by Drop“, that brings together water, the green economy and Rio+20.


The Europe-wide competition is a part of the United Nations´ global campaign called the Future We Want in the lead up to Rio+20: the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, scheduled for 20-22 June 2012.

The Nordic Council of Ministers donates the first prize, the Nordic Council of Ministers Prize, and 5,000 Euros.

-The Nordic Region has the potential and political will to lead the way in finding sustainable solutions and green growth. With this competition we hope to encourage and engage all Europeans in the struggle for a better and greener future, says Halldór Ásgrímsson, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The competition calls on professionals and non-professionals in 48 European countries to design a newspaper advertisement to raise awareness and inspire the European public to find green solutions to the management and conservation of water resources now, and for future generations.

-To join the UN’s global campaign for Rio+20 "The Future We want", we looked carefully at the different issues and realized that water, and how much we waste it here in Europe, is a subject likely to touch everyone. And if creatives put their mind to it, it will have much more of an impact, says Afsané Bassir-Pour, director of UNRIC.

-We are delighted to have the Nordic countries as our partners, says UNRIC Director Afsané Bassir-Pour. How can a region not be concerned about water that includes the glaciers of Greenland, large parts of the North Atlantic, the Arctic and the Baltic sea not forgetting the thousand lakes of Finland?  The five states have played an important worldwide role in green solutions and sustainable development from the Brundtland commission and to this day,  says Ms. Bassir-Pour.

“The Future We Want – Drop by Drop”, is organized by UNRIC in partnership with the Brussels office of UNEP.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, points out that investing just 0.16 per cent of global GDP in the water sector could reduce scarcity and rapidly halve the number of people without access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

-Galvanizing public support through the Drop by Drop ad campaign can be part of this paradigm shift and support UNEP's GreenUp! initiative in the run up to Rio+20, Dr. Steiner says.

Séguela and Hedegaard among jurors

In addition to the first prize, two other submissions will receive prizes for the youth category and public votes. The overall prize winner will be selected by a jury composed of advertising professionals and international experts:

  • Mr. Jacques Séguéla, Vice-Chairman of Havas,
  • Ms. Catarina de Albuquerque, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation,
  • Ms Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action,
  • Mr. Omar Vulpinari, Head of Visual Communication at Fabrica
  • Mr. John Vidal; the Guardian's environment editor
  • Mr. Jens Assur; Swedish photographer
  • Ms. Ferah Perker; Turkish graphic designer

The competition opens for submissions on 10 December 2011, International Human Rights Day, and ends at midnight 29 February 2012. The public vote winner will be announced on 22 March 2012, World Water Day; the Youth prize on 11 April 2012; and the overall winner will on 5 June 2012, World Environment Day.

More details on the competition website

UNRIC, the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe, serves 22 European countries in the field of information.

UNEP is the United Nations Environment Programme. The UNEP Brussels office is a coorganizer of the competition.


Louise Hagemann
Phone +45 21 71 71 41

Afsane Bassir-Pour, Director UNRIC
Tel: +32-2788-847-0

For additional information about the UN Environment Programme, please contact:
James Morris, Information Officer
Tel: +32-2213-3059