About the conference
Water is a fundamental part of all aspects of life. Water is inextricably linked to the three pillars of sustainable development, and it integrates social, cultural, economic and political values. It is crosscutting and supports the achievement of many SDGs through close linkages with climate, energy, cities, the environment, food security, poverty, gender equality and health, amongst others. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies and environment, water is indeed the biggest deal breaker to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands, featured an opening and closing ceremony, six plenary meetings and five multi-stakeholder interactive dialogues. It also featured a number of high-level special events and side events organized by Member States, the UN system and other stakeholders.
The outcome of the Conference is a summary of the Conference proceedings and new commitments, pledges and actions by Governments and all stakeholders towards achieving SDG 6 and other water-related goals and targets, compiled in the Water Action Agenda.
The UN 2023 Water Conference and the Water Action Agenda unites the world for water. The key building blocks of the Water Action Agenda are:
- commitment to action
- sustained and scalable implementation
- follow-up and review processes
These blocks enable replication and scaling up of what works and bring successful solutions to global scale.
Get to know the Conference
There are six plenaries in the General Assembly Hall which offer Member States a platform to announce commitments, plans, actions, and best practices. The first plenary is the Opening of the Conference. During the Opening statements is made by the Presidents of the Conference, the Secretary - General of the United Nations, the President of the General Assembly, the President of the Economic and Social Council, the Secretary-General of the Conference, and the Chair of UN-Water.
The five interactive dialogues address the following themes:
- Water for Health: Access to WASH, including the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (SDG 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 17) - Read the concept paper >
- Water for Sustainable Development: Valuing Water, Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Sustainable Economic and Urban Development (SDG 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 and SDGs 2, 8, 9, 11, 12) - Read the concept paper >
- Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment: Source to Sea, Biodiversity, Climate, Resilience and DRR (SDGs 6.5, 6.6, 7, 11.5, 13, 14, 15) - Read the concept paper >
- Water for Cooperation: Transboundary and International Water Cooperation, Cross Sectoral Cooperation, including Scientific Cooperation, and Water Across the 2030 Agenda (SDG 6.5, 6.b and SDGs 16, 17) Read the concept paper >
- Water Action Decade: Accelerating the implementation of the objectives of the Decade, including through the UN Secretary-General’s Action Plan - Read the concept paper >
There are four informal high-level special events organized in connection with the Conference to create a platform for in depth and broader discussion of water-related challenges and solutions. The preparations and execution of these special events is led by stakeholders, in partnership across different sectors:
Radical Collaboration for Water Resilience: Action with our greatest Allies in the Climate Crisis >
Reducing inequalities – implementing Human Rights > Read the Summary Report Here.
The Economics of Water: transforming governance to secure a sustainable, just and prosperous future >
Water Leadership: Uniting for a sustainable world > Read the Summary Report Here.
Side events are organized in connection with the UN 2023 Water Conference, either in-person or virtually, by Member States, the UN system, Intergovernmental Organizations and accredited non-governmental stakeholders. The side events give an opportunity for all participants to share knowledge and solutions to accelerate implementation of SDG 6, identify new and emerging issues, exchange national and local experiences and practices, and showcase voluntary commitments for the Water Action Agenda.
Only side events that have been submitted and approved through this application process will be included in the side event programme to be made available on the UN 2023 Water Conference website.
- International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028
- Home - International Decade for Action (wateractiondecade.org)
- Water Action Decade | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (un.org)
On 20 December 2018, the General Assembly adopted the resolution on the “Midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, 2018-2028” (A/RES/73/226).
The resolution calls for a Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action to be convened in New York from 22 to 24 March 2023. The Conference shall be preceded by regional and global preparatory meetings, as appropriate, and informed by existing water-related meetings at the regional and global level.
On 21 December 2020, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution A/RES/75/212 “United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, 'Water for Sustainable Development', 2018–2028”, which provides the modalities of the Conference.