Today, lack of access to a safe drinking water source, basic sanitation and sound hygiene alongside with water scarcity and water pollution constitute one of the major challenges for the international community, in particular for the developing countries. Increasing water-related disasters, climate change, urbanization, population growth, desertification, and drought with the lack of capacity to ensure integrated water resource management further exacerbate this situation.
To address these interlinked challenges, on 21 December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the resolution 71/222 to declare 2018-2028 as an International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”. The objectives of the Decade, specified in paragraph 4, include greater focus on: (1) sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives; (2) the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects; and (3) the furtherance of cooperation and partnerships at all levels in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will also highlight the importance of promoting the efficiency of water usage at all levels, taking into account the water, food, energy, environment nexus, including the implementation of national development programmes.
To mobilize efforts of the governments, UN institutions, international and non-governmental organizations, as well as other stakeholders at all levels for effective implementation of the water-related SDGs as well as goals and objectives of the International Water Decade it is planned to hold a High-level International Conference on the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028” in Dushanbe.
The main objectives of the Conference are to discuss the ways on how the Member States, relevant UN bodies, the specialized agencies, the regional commissions and other organizations of the UN system, as well as other relevant partners, including the private sector can contribute to the Decade in order to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will also allow for discussion on the importance of specific means of implementation, including monitoring, financing, capacity development, access to technology and partnership with the private sector and civil society.
The Conference will deepen the understanding of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, promote integrated water resources management and galvanize action in support of the implementation of the water-related SDGs. Specifically, the Conference aims to:
— Mobilize efforts of the governments, UN institutions, international and non-governmental organizations, as well as other parties at all levels for the implementation of the Action Plan of the Decade to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
— Increase attention to the water-related SDGs and targets at all levels.
— Strengthen cooperation and partnership at all levels to achieve water-related SDGs.
The conference program includes plenary sessions, a number of thematic and interactive sessions, an exhibition, as well as a pre-conference and side-events. Selection of the main topics for discussion and determination of the structure of the conference program will be implemented by the International Steering Committee in its first meeting in March 2018 in Brazil.
The conference will provide opportunity for interested delegations to organize side-events on relevant matters/issues.
Pre-Conference events include different events in parallel and in an inclusive manner, such as Children/Youth Water Forum, Women Water Forum, Civil Society Water Forum, etc.
Representatives of UN member countries’ governments, UN institutions, international and regional organizations, international financial institutions, business communities, non-governmental organizations, civil society, as well as scientists and experts are invited to participate in the Conference. Invitations to UN member countries, international and regional organizations and other partners will be sent on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the National Organizing Committee established and chaired by the Prime Minister of Tajikistan.
The Conference is organized by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in cooperation with the UNDESA, UN-Water and other partners.
Date and venue:
The Conference will be held from 20 to 21 June 2018 at Kokhi Somon venue, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Pre-conference events and Side-events will be held on 19 June 2018 at the National Library, Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
Participants will be invited to a Tour/field trip on 22 June 2018 to witness integrated and sustainable water resources management in action.
The working languages of the Conference are English and Russian (simultaneous translation will be provided). The translation into other UN official languages will be provided to the possible extent.