Welcome Message by the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Dear Friends,

It is my pleasure to welcome you to the International High-Level Conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028.

Water and sanitation are critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger. Access to safe water and sanitation and sound management of freshwater ecosystems are essential to human health and to environmental sustainability and economic prosperity.

However, our communities are confronted with mounting water-related challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, as well as increased frequency and severity of droughts and floods. Failing to respond effectively to these challenges will have devastating effects on the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, especially the poor and vulnerable groups.

The Water Action Decade provides a unique framework to support efforts to overcome these challenges by energizing the implementation and promotion of programmes and projects on integrated and sustainable management of water and sanitation. It further provides an exceptional opportunity to strengthen cooperation and partnership at all levels to help achieve sustainable development goal 6 (SDG 6) and other water-related goals and targets.

The Conference represents the first opportunity for all stakeholders to engage in this historic endeavor since the launch of the Water Action Decade on World Water Day, 22 March 2018. The Conference will also provide a timely and effective opportunity for the international community to contribute to the review of SDG 6 and related goals and targets at the 2018 session of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, where, among other issues, SDG 6 for water and sanitation will be discussed in depth in July 2018.

The United Nations is honored to support Tajikistan in the organization of the conference, and stands ready to support countries and stakeholders in the implementation of water-related SDGs and targets, within the framework of the Water Action Decade.

I look forward to welcoming you in Dushanbe and wish all a fruitful conference.


Liu Zhenmin

Under-Secretary-General of the

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs