The High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) issued a ‘Call to Action' at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, US, pressing for changes in the way that water is used and managed around the world.
21 September 2016: The High-Level Panel on Water (HLPW) issued a ‘Call to Action’ at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York, US, pressing for changes in the way that water is used and managed around the world.
The ‘Call to Action’ highlights that over two billion people in the world are affected by water stress, a figure that is likely to rise. The document outlines an agenda for action in several areas: resilient economies and societies, and disaster risk reduction (DRR); universal access to safe water and sanitation; sustainable cities and human settlements; water and the environment; and water infrastructure and investment. The plan also calls for building partnerships and international cooperation. It states that the HLPW will promote multi-level approaches to water governance, encourage investment in water measurement and data, and promote efforts to establish common principles among all stakeholders to address the issues of allocating, valuing and trading water.
Opening the HLPW meeting at UN Headquarters – the second such meeting since the group was established – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the urgent need for action on water management, referring to projections that the world may face a 40% shortfall in water availability by 2030.
The HLPW is a multilateral group convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Kim to promote action on Sustainable Development Goal 6 (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and other water-related targets in the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs). Eleven heads of state and one special adviser make up the 12-member group. Alongside the two co-conveners, the HLPW is co-chaired by the Presidents of Mauritius and Mexico. Other members include the Prime Ministers of Australia, Jordan, and the Netherlands, and the Presidents of Australia, Bangladesh, Hungary, Peru, South Africa, Senegal and Tajikistan. Ha Seung-soo, former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, serves as Special Adviser to the panel. [UN Press Release] [UN Secretary-General’s Remarks] [Call to Action] [Background note on HLPW]