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.
Countries in special situations, like SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs, face daunting challenges to achieve goals related to water and sanitation. Water is indeed an important resource for sustainable development in these countries, and many of the economic and social goals, including the realization of an inclusive and sustained economic growth, are highly dependent to access to water. Furthermore, most of these countries, if not all, suffer from the impact of climate change on water resources and water availability.
Therefore, on 21 December 2016 the UNGA adopted the resolution 71/222 supporting the initiative of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon to declare 2018-2028 as an International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” aimed at building support and momentum for rapid start-up on the implementation of water related SDGs and targets. The Decade will strengthen and enhance the progress achieved during the “Water for Life” Decade and put greater focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources.
With greater focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for achieving social, economic and environmental objectives and on the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects, the Decade will aim at the furtherance of cooperation, partnership and capacity development 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 raise awareness about the timely and effective implementation of the SDG6 and other water-related SDGs and to discuss the way forward with implementation of activities of the Water Decade Action Plan, 2018-2028 at the global, regional and country levels.
The Conference is intended to continue and enrich discussions of the High-Level Launch Event of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, called upon by the President of the 72-nd session of the UNGA in New York on World Water Day, 22 March 2018. It will provide a timely and necessary platform for developing recommendations on acceleration and strengthening efforts towards achieving water-related SDGs and targets in the run-up to the next session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, where, among other issues, SDG 6 “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” will be discussed.
The Conference will also focus on 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 innovation, fostering 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 SDG 6 and other 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 SDG6 and other water-related SDGs and targets at all levels.
— Strengthen cooperation and partnership at all levels to achieve SDG6 and other water-related SDGs.
It is expected that the Conference will develop and adopt outcome documents.
The conference program includes plenary sessions, a number of thematic and interactive sessions, an Exhibition, as well as pre-conference and side-events.
The conference will provide opportunity for interested delegations to organize their side-events on relevant matters/issues.
Pre-Conference events include different events in parallel like Children Water Forum, Women Water Forum, etc.
The representatives of the 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 the 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.
The Conference is organized by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in cooperation with the United Nations and other partners. The Government of Tajikista has established a National Organizing Committee under the leadership of the Prime-Minister.
To facilitate preparation to the Conference, as well as to develop a comprehensive program and outcome document of the Conference with participation of all categories of water users and decision-makers, there will be established an International Steering Committee (ISC) from the representatives of the UN and its agencies, partner-countries, international and regional financial institutions, river basin organizations, NGOs, private sector and other stakeholders.
Date and venue
The Conference will be held from 20 to 22 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.