International water dialogue provides recommendations for action
The international water dialogue "Water Dialogues for Results", initiated by the Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), ended today on 1 July 2021 with an urgent appeal for increased global efforts across the world to protect global water resources. The conference drew up specific recommendations for action to accelerate efforts to guarantee the universal right to clean water and safe sanitation and the sustainable management of the world's water resources. More than 20 ministers from around the globe and other high-level representatives from international organisations, civil society and science took part in the virtual closing conference.
Federal Environment Minister Schulze commented: "We need to treat access to clean water and sanitation as a universal human right. Sustainable protection of global water resources and ensuring a reliable water supply require cooperation across all sectors, political levels and borders. If everyone pitches in and is open to learning about the challenges and solutions of other sectors, countries, cities and municipalities, we can achieve the water-related development goals and requirements of the 2030 Agenda. During this dialogue, we have jointly succeeded in drawing up specific recommendations for action in a short time. This gives us hope that together we will also be able to significantly improve the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe and make the UN Water Conference two years from now a success."
The event, hosted by Federal Environment Minister Schulze, is the first of four official preparatory conferences in the run-up to the 2023 UN Water Conference to be held in New York. It will focus on universal access to clean water and safe sanitation as well as the sustainable management of global water resources. These are the objectives pursued by the United Nations and its Agenda for Sustainable Development and associated development goals.
During the "Water Dialogues for Results", the Federal Environment Ministry together with countries from all regions of the world, representatives from civil society, science, business and relevant international organisations drew up concrete recommendations for action to ensure that the water-related SDGs are achieved around the world by 2030. The proposals can be summarised by the following five key messages:
- financing for accelerating implementation of the water-related goals and targets has to be broadly based, public funds alone will not suffice
- good decision-making needs a solid data basis
- stable knowledge transfer and the development of adequate technological and organisational infrastructure are keys to success
- openness to innovation is a precondition for combating water scarcity
- water requires sound and strong governance and cooperation across sectors and institutions.
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze will present these key messages and recommendations for action during the virtual meeting of the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development held from 6 to 15 July in New York, underscoring their relevance for the entire 2030 Agenda. The continuous exchange this sparks between UN member states on important water issues and related aspects, such as international climate targets, is in line with Germany's long-standing call for a regular high-level exchange between UN member states on the status of implementation of the global water goals.
The Midterm Comprehensive Review of the UN Water Action Decade (2018 to 2028) will take place in 2023, 46 years after the first UN Water Conference, and will be the second conference of its kind. Germany is contributing both content and funding to the preparatory process. With this year’s virtual conference, the Federal Environment Ministry is following up on prior commitments. In 2001 and 2011, the International Conference on Freshwater and the "Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus" were held in Bonn under the auspices of the BMU.