6 October 2020
UN-Water Meeting Reviews Preparations for High-level Events in 2021, 2023
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Participants were briefed on the launch of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework.

The Framework calls for an annual “moment” for SDG 6 during the annual meetings of the HLPF.

Participants were also updated on preparations for high-level events at the UN on water and sanitation issues in 2021 and 2023.

The 33rd UN-Water Meeting offered a brief chance for the Members, Partners, and observers of this UN interagency coordination mechanism to discuss the role of water and sanitation in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants also received updates on opportunities to engage at the global level to build momentum for implementation of SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).

This meeting was originally scheduled to take place in August 2020, in Stockholm, Sweden. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the open session took place as a 90-minute online discussion on 29 September 2020. 

Of particular focus was the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, which was launched in July 2020 by UN-Water with the participation of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and 11 UN agency heads. UN-Water Chair Gilbert Houngbo highlighted that the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework calls for an annual “moment” for SDG 6 during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) when it convenes each July under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The SDG 6 Moment would provide an opportunity to assess progress and share success stories.

An additional area of discussion was the UN-Water “offer,” which identifies ways that UN-Water Members and Partners can help support UN country teams through the UN resident coordinator (RC) system. Following the delivery of the offer in January, country teams from the following eight countries have replied: Bahrain, Costa Rica, Guinea, India, Madagascar, Mexico, Nepal, and São Tomé and Príncipe. 

Participants were also updated on preparations for upcoming high-level events at the UN on water and sanitation issues. Madhushree Chatterjee, UN-Water Secretary, said the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) will organize one of the two high-level events by June 2021, so that it may contribute to the July 2021 session of the HLPF.

The year 2023 marks the midpoint of the Water Action Decade (2018-2028), and a UN Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development,’ will convene from 22-24 March 2023. Mahmadamin Mahmadaminov, Permanent Representative of Tajikistan, and Mark Zellenrath, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Netherlands, noted their countries’ efforts as co-facilitators regarding the modalities for the event. Chatterjee reported that regional preparatory meetings will take place in 2022 for the Midterm Review meeting.

During a closed meeting for UN-Water Members on 30 September 2020, it was agreed that the 34th UN-Water meeting will convene virtually from 16-17 March 2021. [ENB coverage of UN-Water meeting]

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