Over 700 commitments were made at the recently conducted United Nations 2023 Water Conference in New York City to make the world water-secure.
What is UN 2023 Water Conference about?
- The UN 2023 Water Conference is formally known as the 2023 Conference for the Midterm Comprehensive Review of Implementation of the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation (2018-2028).
- Aim – “Our watershed moment: uniting the world for water”, aims to support the achievement of internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- It took place at UN Headquarters in New York.
- It was co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands.
- It took 46 long years for the UN to organize this Water Conference in 2023, the first being held in 1977 in Mar de Plata, Argentina.
Water Water Day is 22 March 2023, and this year the theme is “Accelerating change”
What are the major initiatives taken?
- Water Action Agenda – The 700 voluntary commitments will form the Water Action Agenda.
- Climate resilient water and sanitation infrastructure – USA announced a commitment of up to $49 billion in investments to support climate resilient water and sanitation infrastructure and services
- Quality Infrastructure – Japan announced that it will contribute 500 billion yen to the solution of water-related social issues faced by the Asia-Pacific region by developing quality Infrastructure
- River basins management and clean running water –Vietnam pledged to develop policies for major river basins management by 2025 and clean running water by 2030
- Africa’s water investments gap – The African Union Commission and Continental Africa Investment Programme (AIP) aims to close Africa’s water investments gap by mobilizing at least $30 billion per year by 2030.
- European Union (EU) – The EU aims to support 70 million individuals to an improved drinking water source and sanitation facility by 2030.
- Water Convention and transboundary cooperation – Switzerland submitted 5 commitments in the areas of Water Convention and transboundary cooperation.
What are the challenges?
- The commitments are non-binding in nature.
- The water action agenda should include diverse experiences and did not include the necessary communities of water management.
- The conference failed to address the violence and threats faced by communities trying to protect dwindling water sources.