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UN 2023 Water Conference 22 — 24 Mar 2023, New York


Frequently Asked Questions

In March 2023 the world will come together in New York during the UN 2023 Water Conference. The Conference is convened by the UN General Assembly. The Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Tajikistan, co-hosts of the Conference, are committed to make the Conference a watershed moment that will bring stakeholders from all sectors together and that will create a global momentum for accelerated implementation and improved impact to advance the broad challenges surrounding water. UN DESA serves as the Secretariat, supported by UN-Water.

Building on the UNGA modalities resolution, the vision statement defines three principles to guide the Conference and its preparatory process.

  • Inclusive: both in terms of (a) the Conference processes and in terms of (b) the results (leaving no-one behind).
  • Action-oriented: leading to real impactful results through concrete actions and plans on the ground.
  • Cross-sectoral: mobilizing all other water related sectors to improve the way they manage and utilize water resources. These sectors need to bring their plans and actions to the Conference.

The Conference will comprise an opening and a closing ceremony, six plenary meetings and five interactive dialogues, and the mandated output document of the Conference is a summary of its proceedings prepared by the President of the General Assembly. There is no negotiated outcome document foreseen for the UN 2023 Water Conference. In order to mobilize all sectors, actors and countries and create the political momentum needed to combat the global water challenges, the Water Action Agenda is another main outcome of the Conference which has been launched by the co-hosts to turn the political momentum created by the Conference into tangible and ambitious action to get progress on track.

The Water Action Agenda is a main outcome of the UN 2023 Water Conference. The Water Action Agenda is the collection of all water-related voluntary commitments to accelerate progress in the second half of the Water Action Decade 2018-2028 and second half of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Launched by the Conference’s co-hosts during the Dushanbe Conference in June 2022, the Water Action Agenda encourages Member States and other stakeholders across all sectors, industries, and interests to unify and to make their voluntary commitments to address the global water challenges. While the voluntary commitments are gathered in the lead-up to the UN 2023 Water Conference and during the Conference itself, new commitments will continue to be added to the Water Action Agenda also after the Conference and up until the end of the Water Action Decade 2018-2028 and the 2030 Agenda.

Details about the Water Action Agenda can be found here. A Frequently Asked Questions is available here. 

The UN 2023 Water Conference is expected to involve all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, other interested international bodies, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations and other actors to assess challenges and opportunities relating to, as well as support further action to implement, the objectives of the Decade and the water-related goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The co-hosts of the Conference (the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Tajikistan), in their vision statement, have also emphasized the need of giving voice to all stakeholders, in and beyond the water sector, so that they can meaningfully contribute and take part in determining and developing the process and the content of the Conference and its objectives.

Details about stakeholder engagement in the preparations and the UN 2023 Water Conference, including a FAQ on participation for stakeholders, can be found here.

More information about the UN 2023 Water Conference can be found on the different tabs of this website.

To read our previous newsletters, please visit the documentation tab here.