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22 to 24 March: Uniter’ Nations Water Conference - Results

The United Nations Water Conference 2023, held from 22 to 24 March in New-York, gathered nearly 10,000 participants. Its objective was to increase the urgency of actions aimed at solving the crisis of water and drainage, and ensuring fair access to water and drainage for all.

It ended with the adoption of the Water Action Agenda. This “historic” action plan contains more than 700 commitments.


A large number of member States and representatives of the private sector and civil society contributed to the Water Action Agenda through five interactive dialogues, four special events and nearly 400 side events.

Regarding Europe, for example, the European Union (EU) committed itself to supporting access for 70 million people to improved drinking water sources and sanitary installations from now to 2030. The EU will also support its member States with a fund of €20 million to speed up the deployment of wastewater monitoring for COVID-19.

The French multinational DANONE will launch a joint fund to allow 30 million people in need to gain access to clean water every day.

Several other monitoring measures are also being considered, notably the appointment of a Special Envoy for Water, before the Summit on Sustainable Development Goals to be held in September.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, underlined the main decisive advances: the strengthening of the place of water as a basic human right and the reduction of pressure on the hydrological system, the development of new alternative food production systems to reduce the non-sustainable use of water in food production and agriculture, and the design and implementation of a new global information system on water to guide plans and priorities from now to 2030.

“We want the results of the conference to appear on the agenda of the Summit on the SDG and the Summit of the Future. The conference is a beginning, not an end”, declared Henk Ovink, the special envoy from the Netherlands for water.


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