AFRICA: UN Water Conference opens March 22, 2022 in New York

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AFRICA: UN Water Conference opens March 22, 2022 in New York©Jen Watson/Shutterstock

The United Nations (UN) is co-organizing with Tajikistan and the Netherlands, a conference on water from March 22 to 24, 2023. The meeting held in New York in the United States of America aims to develop a "bold" program to achieve the sixth sustainable development goal (SDG6) set by the UN in 2015. Its ambition is to ensure universal access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 worldwide.

Only a few days left before the launch of the United Nations (UN) 2023 Water Decade Conference in New York, United States of America. This meeting will open on March 22, in the wake of the celebration of World Water Day, and will close on March 24, 2023. Three days. Time for the actors of the water sector in Africa and the world to review the problems related to water, between the mid-term review of the sixth sustainable development goal (SDG6) set by the UN in 2015, challenges and recommendations.

The UN hopes that by 2030, every country on all five continents will be able to ensure universal access to safe drinking water for its people. But at this stage, the gap between projections and reality is still very large, especially on the African continent where “an average of 418 million people out of the 1.3 billion people in Africa still do not have access to a drinking water service, even basic”, said the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a report in 2022.

Developing a water program

The UN Decade Conference 2023 is being held under the theme of “water and sustainable development” and is dedicated to a comprehensive mid-term review of the goals of the international decade of action. It comes 46 years after the last edition in 1977. “Water plays a key role in achieving the goals of sustainable development, as well as in the health and prosperity of people and the planet,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

In New York, the Conference participants will take part in workshops organized by different organizations. The International Office for Water (IOWater) through the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) will lead three workshops on 22 and 23 March 2023. Among other topics to be addressed, “sustainability in good governance of groundwater resources”, “integrated water resources management at the basin level: the benefits of this integrated approach to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs”, “committing to advance transboundary water cooperation worldwide for sustainable development, climate action, stability and peace”.

Read also – AFRICA: Water and sanitation security today, a necessity!

INBO and OiEau will also be partners in several workshops taking place on March 23 and 24, 2023. Among other issues, “A city-basin approach to water security in Africa: solutions and commitments”, “Achieving a balance between protection and development – water for rural prosperity”, etc. The aim is to support the States that wish to reach the deadline set by the UN.

In a recent release, António Guterres, the UN Secretary General, assured that the “2023 Water Conference will result in a bold water agenda that gives the vital element of our planet the commitment it deserves. For Africa, this plan will certainly be a great contribution. However, nothing can be done without financing. This factor remains one of the main obstacles to the achievement of SDG6 in Africa today.

For more information on the Conference of the UN Decade 2023, click here.

Inès Magoum


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