The United Nations General Assembly, in its resolution73/226, decided to convene in New York, USA, from 22 to 24 March 2023, 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” (United Nations 2023 Water Conference). It will focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives, the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects, as well as on the furtherance of cooperation and partnerships at all levels.
The UN 2023 Water Conference is a historic opportunity for the world community. It is the first UN conference on water in almost 50 years after the 1977 UN Water Conference and comes at a time when there are urgent needs for water action. The world is facing unprecedented challenges, including the devastating impacts of climate change, the looming food crisis and the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Side event: Promoting Water Culture through Learning & Action - Wednesday 22 March 2023
Academic partners: York University, Canada; Nova School of Business and Economics, Portugal
Time: 9:30 to 10:45
Format: Roundtable Dialogue – Conference room 7, UNHQ, New York
Thematic Area: ID5 Water Action Decade: Accelerating the implementation of the objectives of the Decade, including through the UN Secretary-General’s Action Plan.
Event ID: HQ3
This event will bring together business executives and leading academic institutions to form a collaborative partnership focused on delivering innovative training and building human capacities on pressing water-related issues at a large scale.
Key Outcome: Water Academy
In line with the UN 2023 Water Conference call to contribute with concrete and measurable contributions that can be implemented immediately, with a view to greater efficacy and efficiency, a key outcome of UNITAR’s side event Promoting Water Culture through Learning & Action is the creation of the “Water Academy”.
The “Water Academy” as an education platform seeks to:
- Forging skills and knowledge such that water management practices can be replicated and scalable.
- Forging awareness and a water culture based on ethics and a responsible attitude towards water
Areas of work:
Created as a multi-stakeholder collaboration with York University (Canada) as Academic Lead, the “Water Academy” seeks to tackle diverse aspects of the water sustainability crisis by innovating with academic institutions and private sector partners to:
- Promote knowledge transfer and capacity sharing
- Offer a hybrid way of learning
- Develop scientifically based water solutions that inform water policies and programmes
- Measure and monitor the impact and promote replicability of water management practices
- Facilitate conversations and partnerships to enhance understanding of water issues
- Support capacity building of sustainable management of water especially in distressed areas and for Indigenous communities and marginalized/equity-deserving groups
Side event: Sustainable Climate Action for Water Crises - Thursday 23 March 2023
Partners: Permanent Missions of Bahamas, Morocco, and Tajikistan in association with World Youth Group
Time: 14:00 to 15:15
Format: Panel Discussion – Trusteeship Council Chamber, UNHQ, New York
Thematic Area: Discussion concerning the global water crisis with a focus on conservation and management.
The purpose of the event is to provide governments, young parliamentarians, and Permanent Missions with the opportunity to share their contributions towards tackling the water crisis through sustainable climate change and capacity building. The event will focus on the importance of natural resource management, governance, and leadership, and highlight the critical need for youth engagement in national and global climate action and capacity building on water crises.
The objective of the side event is to provide a platform for governments, Permanent Missions, and young leaders to present legislative proposals and capacity-building mechanisms for addressing water crises. The severity of water crises is a global issue that affects every country, leading to frequent floods, famine, drought, and even national security concerns. This conference aims to produce action plans that will be transpired into UN resolutions and national legislations that are sustainable and universal.
Side event: Water Security, Disasters, and Resilience in a Changing Climate: Challenges, Opportunities, and Solutions - Friday 24 March 2023
Partners: York University, Congo Basin Water Resources Research Center, Colorado Water Center, Global Water Promise, mWater, Newcastle University and Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Stockholm International Water Institute, Toronto Metropolitan University
Time: 12:30 to 13:45
Format: Panel Discussion – Room B, UNHQ, New York
Thematic Area: Discussion concerning the global water crisis with a focus on vulnerable communities.
This event aims to discuss key challenges that water insecurity poses to communities and offer scientific, technological, and natural solutions to improve the resilience of freshwater systems.
The impacts of global environmental degradation on freshwater security are felt by communities around the world, exacerbated by social inequities and environmental stressors. This side event aims to contextualize legal, cultural, historical, political, scientific, and technological insights into why hundreds of Indigenous communities in Canada continue to be unable to access clean drinking water, how to develop sustainable management plans for resources in the Congo Basin, and how to manage the water crisis in the Colorado basin. Solutions include UV, advanced oxidation processes, and nanotechnology applied to water purification and water treatment, machine learning and artificial intelligence to maintain water quality, empowering women and providing education for children to safeguard water supplies, and developing policies around water cooperation across stakeholders and sectors.
For further information, please visit: https://www.yorku.ca/cifal/unwaterconference/.