United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Frequently Asked Questions about the Participation of

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS, CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS, ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS, THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY, THE PRIVATE SECTOR AND PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS

1. Who can participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting?

According to A/RES/75/212 , 4 (f) the Conference should “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 .”

Paragraphs 22 invites “ other relevant stakeholders, including organizations and bodies of the United Nations, intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, other interested international bodies and non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector and philanthropic organizations, whose work is relevant to the Conference, accredited in accordance with the provisions set forth in annex II to the present resolution, to participate as observers in the Conference and its preparatory meeting .”

2. Which civil society organizations, private sector, academia and other stakeholders can participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Relevant stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector and philanthropic organizations and other actors , whose work is relevant to the UN 2023 Water Conference, accredited in accordance with the provisions set forth in Annex II of A/RES/75/212 will be able to request registration to participate as observers in the Conference and in its preparatory meeting.

3. Which organizations can register participants to the Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Organizations that fall under the following categories will be able to request to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference:

a. Non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Counci l (Special, General or Roster consultative status) . You can check if your organization has consultative statushere.

b. Organizations that have received special accreditation by the UN General Assembly to the following past Summit (please click on the link for details):

c. Organizations that receive special accreditation by the UN General Assembly to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference.

· Outcomes of the first round of Special Accreditation to the UN 2023 Water Conference can be found here.

· The second (and final) round of special accreditation to the UN 2023 Water Conference closed on Friday, 2 December 2022. Outcomes for the final round can be found here.

4. My organization is not on the lists above – can we attend the UN 2023 Water Conference?

Civil society organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector and philanthropic organizations whose work is relevant to the Conference and which are not listed in categories a) and b) above were able to request Special Accreditation to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting.

Please note that the Special Accreditation process is now closed. 

5. How can I request Special Accreditation for my organization?

The first round of Special Accreditation was held from 16 May –15 July 2022 and the outcomes can be found here.

The second (and final) round of Special Accreditation was held from 31 October – 02 December 2022. Outcomes for the final round can be found here.

6. My organization applied for Special Accreditation. What is the process for Special Accreditation requests to be reviewed?

The United Nations Secretariat reviews each submission and its documentation. Submissions that are complete and relevant to the UN 2023 Water Conference are compiled and sent to the Office of the President of the General Assembly (PGA). The PGA submits the list for the review of United Nations Member States under a non-objection basis. After the review by Member States, the PGA publishes the final list of organizations specially accredited to the Conference.

  1. Outcomes of the first round of Special Accreditation to the UN Water Conference can be found here.
  2. Outcomes of the second (and final) round of Special Accreditation to the UN Water Conference can be found here.

7. When will I know if my organization was specially accredited to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference?

The Special Accreditation process is now closed.

Outcomes of the first round of Special Accreditation to the UN Water Conference (August 2022) can be found here.

The second (and final) round of Special Accreditation is now closed (31 October - 02 December 2022). Outcomes for the final round can be found here.

8. What is the difference between accreditation and registration for the UN 2023 Water Conference?

Special accreditation is granted to organizations whose work is considered relevant to the UN 2023 Water Conference. Once accredited, organizations would need to request registration of their representatives (individuals) to attend the UN 2023 Water Conference and/or its preparatory meeting.

All accredited organizations , including non-governmental organizations in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council (Special, General or Roster consultative status) , organizations that have received special accreditation by the UN General Assembly to the past World Summit on Sustainable Development and organizations that received special accreditation by the UN General Assembly to the UN 2023 Water Conference ( here ) will need to request registration of representatives to attend the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting. Details about how to register can be found here.

9. My organization has received Special Accreditation to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference, do I still need to register for the Conference? Can I just show a copy of the confirmation letter to participate at the Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Special accreditation of your organization DOES NOT automatically mean that you are registered to the UN 2023 Water Conference and/or its preparatory meeting. All organizations will need to register their representatives to be able to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference. Information about registration to the preparatory meeting and for the UN 2023 Water Conference will be published in due time at the Conference’s website. Presenting only a copy of the confirmation letter on Special Accreditation will not grant participation at the UN 2023 Water Conference and/or its Preparatory Meeting.

10. I do not belong to any organization. Can I attend the Conference?

Unfortunately, you cannot register to the Conference as an individual. Participants must be connected to an accredited organization or to a United Nations Member State delegation in order to have registrations confirmed. You will, however, be able to follow the proceedings through the webcast.

11. My organization has consultative status with ECOSOC. Do I need to register to attend the Conference?

Yes. All participants will need to register to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting.

12. How can I register to participate at the Conference and/or its preparatory meeting? 

Registration to the UN 2023 Conference in March opened early January. Deadlines to register for each stakeholder group can be found here.

Pursuant to the letter of the President of the General Assembly of 27 July 2022 , a one-day preparatory meeting was held on 25 October 2022 for the 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, to be convened from 22 to 24 March 2023, with the aim of finalizing the themes of the interactive dialogues and other outstanding organizational matters of the Conference. More details could be found on the website: bit.ly/Water25Oct .

Additionally, to ensure the meaningful participation of all relevant stakeholders, the one-day preparatory meeting was preceded by a stakeholder consultation also convened by the President of the General Assembly on 24 October 2022. More information is available here: bit.ly/Water24Oct .

13. How many representatives can each organization register to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Information about the number of participants each organization will be able to register will be shared when registration opens. Please, check this page for updates: https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023/stakeholders .

14. Are funds available for stakeholders to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Registered stakeholders are responsible for their own travel and accommodation costs. The United Nations does not charge a fee for participation in the UN 2023 Water Conference or any of its official events.

15. I represent a city and/or a regional government. Can I participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Representatives of local and regional governments should register through their Member State delegation. Registration information for all categories of participants will be posted on the website: https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023.

Associations of local and regional governments in consultative status with ECOSOC will also be able to register participants.

16. Are there opportunities for stakeholders to speak during the UN 2023 Water Conference and its preparatory meeting?

Yes. Information on engagement opportunities will be published here . You may also sign up to the general mailing list to receive updates. Please, check here .

17. Can NGOs and other stakeholders organize side events at the UN 2023 Water Conference?

Yes. The open call for side events, to be held from 5 December – 20 January, is currently accepting applications from accredited organizations. For more information, please check here

18. I need a visa to travel to the United States, what type of visa would I need to apply for to participate at the UN 2023 Water Conference? 

Please note that a successful registration to the Conference DOES NOT guarantee entrance to the United States. The United Nations Secretariat cannot facilitate any request for assistance related to visa applications. Conference participants are responsible to secure their own entry visa for the United States if needed.

It is strongly recommended that interested participants apply for visas as early as possible. Conference participants do not need to wait for their registration confirmation letter from the United Nations to make an appointment for visa application, but they will need to provide a legitimate letter of representation from their organization. Representatives from accredited non-governmental organizations, who plan to attend the UN 2023 Water Conference, should apply for B-1/B-2 visitor visas.

The UN Secretariat has informed the US Government about this Conference and registered participants are encouraged to contact the US Embassy or Consulate directly to request for an expedited visa appointment. Please check the relevant website of the U.S. Department of State or contact your nearest U.S. embassy/consulate.

Do you still have questions? Please, email: water2023@un.org

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