April 23, 2008


UN Flag to fly at Innovation Park

Hamilton, ON - The United Nations’ flag will be raised at McMaster’s Innovation Park today, the new home for the United Nations University’s International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

The ceremony, attended by Konrad Osterwalder, UN Under-Secretary General and Rector, of UNU, along with His Worship Fred Eisenberger, Mayor of Hamilton, and Peter George, McMaster president, and Dr. Zafar Adeel, director of UNU-INWEH, also marked UNU’s ties with McMaster University.

The mission of UNU is to contribute through research to resolving problems of greatest concern to the member states of the United Nations.

“We are delighted that UNU-INWEH calls McMaster University its home. It is among the institutions providing global leadership on issues related to water and human health, and water research also happens to be one of McMaster’s strengths,” says George. “With our ongoing concerns about climate change and the importance of clean and available water, the work of the International Network is especially important.”

UNU-IWEH was created in 1996 to strengthen water management, particularly in developing countries. Its core funding comes from the Government of Canada, and it is hosted by McMaster University. There are only 14 such UNU institutions worldwide.

“The move to MIP heralds a new era for both UNU-INWEH and McMaster University. It signifies UNU-INWEH’s growth since its inception and reinforces its reputation as the UN think tank focused on global water issues,” says Adeel. “We hope that our presence in Hamilton - the only UN agency headquartered in Ontario - will bring international visibility and attract other innovative institutes to the city, and help Hamilton to stand out on the international arena.” 

UNU’s current interest areas are: the ecosystems of threatened river basins; developing efficiencies in water management by twinning the African Great Lakes with North America’s Laurentian Great Lakes; advancing the practice of integrated water resources management in developing countries.

McMaster Innovation Park serves as a business and research incubator for scientists, researchers, business people, students, government and the private sector.

McMaster University, a world-renowned, research-intensive university, fosters a culture of innovation, and a commitment to discovery and learning in teaching, research and scholarship. Based in Hamilton, the University, one of only four Canadian universities to be listed on the Top 100 universities in the world, has a student population of more than 23,000, and an alumni population of more than 131,000 in 128 countries.


For more information, please contact:

Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988


Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869