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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Localising SDG 6 - Contribution from the Global Task force - Local Authorities Major group

United Cities and Local Governments ( UCLG) (
Local / Regional Government

    On behalf of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, facilitated by the United Cities and Local governments, our initiative aims at bringing to light crucial role that local and regional governments play in water related issues, and the need to involve subnational institutions in decisions that go beyond water management.

    The adoption of a political statement from the constituency of local and regional governments aims at bringing to light the importance of a renewed water governance, through calls from more than 323,000 sub-national institutions, from small municipalities to metropolises and regions. One of our objective is to remind that local authorities form a vital bridge between national governments, communities and citizens and will have a critical role in a new global partnership.

    Our constituency be present throughout the UN Water Conference, in particular through a local and regional governments day, to advocate for the fulfilment of the right to water, acknowledged by the United Nations as "a fundamental right essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life and all human rights". Still the right to water is not formally applied, particularly at local level. The scarcity and deterioration of water quality exacerbate inequalities of access. very poorest people are the first to suffer. In many local and regional governments of least developed countries, women are the ones taking care and suffering from water distribution. In many countries of the South, the most vulnerable populations are subject to water shortages.

    Our initiative aims at reminding that local and regional governments have been engaged in protecting their communities in such complex times, focusing on securing water supply and sanitation, avoiding water scarcity, protecting aquatic ecosystems, and fostering care systems.
    City diplomacy and decentralised cooperation are the tools of local and regional government to continue to deliver essential water services to those who need it most. To ensure we leave nobody and no place behind and achieve SDG6, as well as all other SDGs we call, through our mobilization, for a more interconnected multilateral system based on multi-level governance and multi-stakeholder collaboration. Our organized constituency reinstates our commitment to the transformation of the multilateral system driven by the power of collective action, under our strategic input towards the SDGs Summit and Summit for the Future.
    In regards to global water governance, our initiative calls on the international multilateral system to consider the many aspects of an urban world: rural and urban territories, small and intermediate cities, metropolitan entities, and regions. It must also provide financial support and capacity building for local and regional governments (LRGs) to engage in this process. An approach across government and society for addressing inequality, climate change and biodiversity, and for fostering peace is equally critical to changing our systems. The renewed multilateral system will also need to consider water and conflicts where water is being used as a weapon, war crimes or crimes against humanity related to water resources.

    Expected Impact

    The commitments underlined in this initiative are made to ensure an accelerated implementation of SDG 6, ensuring all targets are met, and for a renewed governance that closes the gap through the localization of this and all water-related SDGs.

    Our constituency of local and regional governments calls for a stronger consideration of water as a human right, including access to safe and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all to encourage ongoing support from all spheres of government to ensure access to water and sanitation services for all so as to meet targets 6.1 and 6.2.

    Regarding sustainable management, we call to strengthen the capacities of local and regional governments in building sustainable management models, protecting water as a public good, and developing an integrated and comprehensive approach to water management at all levels, including water efficiency-related topics such as solid waste management, agriculture, and environmental health to reach target 6.4. It is also essential to acknowledge the crucial role of multi-level governance and multi-stakeholder collaboration when it comes to protecting our ecosystem, as well as the promotion of sustainable and responsible use of water
    Our constituency calls on national governments and the international system to contribute to the development of an enabling environment for local and regional governments to implement, run and regulate water efficiently, and user-centered essential services, such as safe water production and supply, wastewater management, and solid waste management, and for their involvement in any decisions related to improving water management so as to reach target 6.3 by 2030.
    This document will address the importance of strengthening local public service provision and the right to water, as well as the protection of water ecosystems, including mountains forests, wetlands and biodiversity, thus addressing target 6.6 directly.
    A renewed international and multilateral system is the way for more equitable governance of water, we call on the involvement of intermediary cities, small towns, and rural areas and territories in the achievement of SDG6 and the universal development agendas. This means ensuring women and girls’ inclusion in water management, and including them in positions of responsibility, and promoting participatory, inclusive approaches that ensure all voices are accounted for and represented in decision-making, enabling us to reach targets 6.5 and 6.B
    To ensure that goal 6 is achieved, it is critical to renew the financial structure and different involvement of the private sector. We call on development banks and central banks to provide direct access to financing for "Climate-Biodiversity" projects of cities, and to allow bidding in all official languages of the United Nations. We aim at encouraging innovative financial solidarity mechanisms at local level, and rethink fiscal architecture, strengthen local finance to provide sufficient financial capacity to reach the SDG targets. It will be critical to establishing instruments - at the national and multilateral levels - to finance water savings and expand international cooperation and capacity building to support those governments that are further away, allowing us to meet target 6.A


    As facilitator of the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), a global coordination mechanism that gathers the constituency of local and regional governments, UCLG has involved the following organisations in a consultation in order to establish new commitments to renew water governance and achieve SDG6.
    UCLG - United Cities and Local Governments and its thematic commissions
    ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability
    AIMF - International Association of Francophone Mayors
    ATO - Arab Towns Organization
    CLGF - Commonwealth Local Government Forum

    Regions4 - Network of Regional Governments for Sustainability
    METROPOLIS - Metropolitan Section of UCLG
    UCLG Regions - UCLG Forum of Regions
    CEMR-CCRE - Council of European Municipalities and Regions
    UCLG-ASPAC - Asia Pacific Section of UCLG
    UCLG-EURASIA - Eurasian Section of UCLG
    UCLG-MEWA - Middle East and West African Section of UCLG
    UCLG-NORAM - North American Section of UCLG
    FLACMA - Latin American Federation of Municipalities and Local Government Associations
    UCLG-A - African Section of UCLG
    CUF - Cités Unies France
    ORU-FOGAR - United Regions Organization
    FMDV - Global Fund for Cities Development
    PLATFORMA - European platform of local and regional authorities for development
    C40 - Cities Climate Leadership Group
    UCCI - Unión de Ciudades Capitales Iberoamericanas

    Additional information

    Goal 6

    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

    Goal 6


    By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all


    Proportion of population using safely managed drinking water services


    By 2030, achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations


    Proportion of population using (a) safely managed sanitation services and (b) a hand-washing facility with soap and water


    By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping and minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally


    Proportion of domestic and industrial wastewater flows safely treated


    Proportion of bodies of water with good ambient water quality


    By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

    Change in water-use efficiency over time


    Level of water stress: freshwater withdrawal as a proportion of available freshwater resources


    By 2030, implement integrated water resources management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate


    Degree of integrated water resources management 


    Proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation


    By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

    Change in the extent of water-related ecosystems over time


    By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling and reuse technologies

    Amount of water- and sanitation-related official development assistance that is part of a government-coordinated spending plan


    Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management


    Proportion of local administrative units with established and operational policies and procedures for participation of local communities in water and sanitation management

    Goal 11

    Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

    Goal 11


    By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums


    Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing


    By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

    Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


    By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

    Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate


    Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically


    Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage


    Total per capita expenditure on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by source of funding (public, private), type of heritage (cultural, natural) and level of government (national, regional, and local/municipal)


    By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations


    Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population


    Direct economic loss attributed to disasters in relation to global domestic product (GDP)


    (a) Damage to critical infrastructure and (b) number of disruptions to basic services, attributed to disasters


    By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management


    Proportion of municipal solid waste collected and managed in controlled facilities out of total municipal waste generated, by cities


    Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) in cities (population weighted)


    By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

    Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


    Proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, disability status and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months


    Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning


    Number of countries that have national urban policies or regional development plans that (a) respond to population dynamics; (b) ensure balanced territorial development; and (c) increase local fiscal space


    By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels


    Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030


    Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies


    Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

    Name Description
    The constituency will release a statement that encompasses our commitments for a renewed water governance that is equitable, sustainably financed, and acknowledges people’s access to water as well as the need to involve all stakeholders. The celebration
    Other, please specify
    mobilisation of local and regional governments, learning tools to localise SDG6
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    Action Network
    water logo
    20 March 2023 (start date)
    21 December 2023 (date of completion)
    United Cities and Local Governments ( UCLG)
    1. Africa
    2. Europe
    3. Asia and Pacific
    4. North America
    5. Latin America and the Caribbean
    6. West Asia
    Other beneficiaries

    Local and regional governments

    More information
    Contact Information

    Kader, Special Advisor to the Secretary general