United Nations 2023 Water Conference: Actions Taken and Challenges Faced.
- The United Nations 2023 Water Conference was conducted after a 46-year hiatus, coinciding with a review of the UN Decade of Action on Water and Sanitation’s implementation (2018-2028).
- The evaluation was done as a result of the understanding that we are not on pace to reach SDG No. 6 for water, which seeks to ensure water availability and sustainable management for all by 2030.
- The conference’s theme was “Our watershed moment: uniting the globe for water.”
- The first water conference was held in 1977 in Mar de Plata, Argentina, and resulted in the first worldwide Action Plan recognizing that all peoples have the right to drinking water of sufficient quality and quantity to meet their fundamental requirements.
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Actions are taken during the conference
- 700 volunteer pledges were collected for the Water Action Agenda.
- The United States has offered up to $49 billion in funding to help in the construction of climate-resilient water and sanitation infrastructure and services.
- Japan has committed 500 billion yen to the development of high-quality infrastructure to solve water-related socioeconomic challenges in the Asia-Pacific area.
- Vietnam committed to establishing plans for major river basin management by 2025 and to provide access to safe flowing water by 2030.
- To address Africa’s water investment deficit, the African Union Commission and Continental Africa Investment Programme plan to generate at least $30 billion per year by 2030.
- By 2030, the EU hopes to upgrade drinking water and sanitation infrastructure for 70 million people.
- Switzerland made five promises linked to the Water Treaty and international cooperation.
- The conference’s agreements are not legally enforceable, and today’s water challenges are more complex than those 50 years ago.
- Water issues and solutions are typically localised, hence fragmentation is widespread in the water industry.
- Global mobilisation may not be as effective in addressing water issues as it is in other domains.
- The present water crisis is about more than just access, and infrastructure expenditure does not always result in long-term access to water and sanitation.
- The meeting did not address the violence and threats that communities suffer in order to defend diminishing water supplies.