The United Nations Water Conference 2023 took place from March 22-24, 2023, at the UN Headquarters in New York, to mobilize action on water and generate the political momentum to address the global water crisis and achieve SDG6, the UN Decade for Action on “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018-2028), and other relevant international water-related goals. This Conference marked the first United Nations conference on water in 46 years since the High-Level Water Conference in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in 1977. The Conference featured six plenary meetings, five Interactive Dialogues, Side Events, a Special Session, and an Exhibition. Over 6,700 officials from 200 countries and regions participated in the Conference, including 20 Heads of State and Government and 120 Ministerial-level representatives.
During the Conference, JWF, as a representative of a Non-Governmental Organization, delivered a statement in “Interactive Dialogue 3: Water for Climate Resilience and Environmental Sustainability”. We organized three side events within the UN Headquarters. We also hold a networking event with diverse stakeholders from Japanese and international participants at the Conference room near the United Nations headquarters.
Furthermore, JWF also issued our voluntary actions in the “Water Action Agenda,” in line with our work programs. In this Newsletter, we will introduce these outcomes.
JWF/APWF Secretariat’s Statement in “Interactive Dialogue 3: Water for Climate Resilience and Environmental Sustainability” and “Water Action Agenda.”
One of the notable features of the Conference was the five Interactive Dialogues on the following themes: (1) Water for Health; (2) Water for Development; (3) Water for Climate Resilience and Environment*1; (4) Water for Cooperation; and (5) Water Action Decade. Representatives from UN member states and non-governmental organizations engaged in discussions on these topics, along with five global acceleration frameworks for achieving SDG 6: (a) finance, (b) data and information, (c) capacity development, (d) innovation, and (e) governance. Concrete proposals and recommended actions were compiled through these dialogues.
JWF Delivered its statement as the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF) Secretariat. For non-governmental organizations, obtaining an opportunity to deliver a statement is very competitive, with only five agencies selected from over 500 applications for each interactive Dialogue. Moreover, we were the sole representative of the non-governmental organization that was able to deliver a statement during the Dialogue. We shared the actions that international organizations should undertake in the future and best practices.
*1 Japanese Government and Egypt Government served as the co-chairs of the Interactive dialogue 3.
APWF Statement: https://sdgs.un.org/documents/japan-water-forum-51268
Water Action Agenda by the APWF
A key outcome of the Conference was the Water Action Agenda, which captured over 700 voluntary commitments from diverse actors, including UN member states and non-governmental organizations, towards addressing the global water crisis and creating a water-secure world through a coordinated and results-driven approach.
JWF, as the Secretariat of the APWF, pledged its voluntary commitment “Enhance Political Leaders’ awareness and their political will address water challenges.” It has been approved as one of the Water Action Agenda.
(Reporter: Yumiko Asayama, Chief Manager, Japan Water Forum)