Open Letter to HLPF Calls for Urgent Water Action
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International water and development agencies issued an open letter to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), calling on the UN system and governments to build resilience through urgent action on water.

The letter is meant to build momentum heading into the July 2018 session of the HLPF, which will review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6).

As of 6 June, 21 UN and other multilateral agencies, research organizations and NGOs had signed the letter.

6 June 2018: International water and development agencies have issued an open letter to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), calling on the UN system and governments to build resilience through urgent action on water. The letter, presented at an event organized by Finnish and Lebanese permanent representation to the UN in New York, US contains recommendations on water governance, financing, and data gathering. Coordinated by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and partners, the letter is meant to build momentum heading into the July 2018 session of the HLPF, which will review progress towards the Sustainable Development Goal on clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), among other Goals.

“Water is key to the success of arguably all of the SDGs,” states the letter.

As of 6 June, 21 UN and other multilateral agencies, research organizations and NGOs had signed the letter. Signatories include the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Bank. The letter stresses that “water is key to the success of arguably all of the SDGs” and will bridge various international agendas, including the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the Ocean Conference Call for Action, and the New Urban Agenda.

The letter warns that 69 countries are not on track to provide basic access to drinking water by 2030 (SDG target 6.1), and that 89 are not on track to meet the target of sanitation for all (SDG 6.2). Furthermore, stakeholder participation in various aspects of water supply and conservation remains low in most countries, and access to information about water supply services and costs should be improved.

The letter calls for: effective, accountable and transparent institutions; representative participatory decision-making at all levels; approaches that will build the resilience of man and nature; adequate valuation of water; taking a human rights approach to water and sanitation services and wise water management; and adequate financing for progress on water-related SDGs. The letter also calls for data to be more accessible and to be disaggregated by gender, to support effective monitoring.

In addition to framing the issues to be considered by the HLPF, the letter also builds momentum towards World Water Week, which will take place from 26-31 August 2018. [Open Letter on SIWI Website] [World Water Week Website] [HLPF 2018]


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