Water Dialogues to accelerate water-related Goals and targets

Poor Indian children keeping their hands up and asking for support. Many Indian children suffer from poverty - more than 50% of India's total population lives below the poverty line, and more than 40% of this population are children.
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In December 2016 the UN GA decided on an Action Decade dedicated to Water from 2018 until 2028. It should quicken the process to reach availability and sustainable management of Water and Sanitation for all (SDG 6). Still, we have not yet reached full speed in the process to do so and lack behind the water-related goals of Agenda 2030. On the way to the mid-term review (MTR) of the Water Action Decade, another spark is set to speed up progress on SDG 6. The Water Dialogues for Results Bonn 2021 aim to accelerate SDG 6 implementation with an emphasis on cross-sectoral action delivered in a policy document.

The respective policy document accentuates improved financing, use of data, holistic capacity development, innovation, and multilevel governance as the five key accelerators combined with specific recommendations for action on different stakeholder levels.

Current developments make us witnesses of how important access to clean water and sanitation is in a pandemic situation and for health in general. Also, our food supply diminishes from insufficient irrigation and ecosystems degrade when lacking the crucial element of sufficient clean water. Hence, the water cycle touches many different sectors and therefore remains of particular interest to all of them. Failing SDG 6 would especially be worrying when considering the interlinkages to other SDGs and the implications for the whole 2030 Agenda if we fail to reach this particular goal.

It is time to jointly fix the bucket.

Together with other UN Member States, participants from Major Groups and international organizations the German Government initiated a dialogue to ensure accelerated implementation of water-related Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda. Representatives of UN member states around the globe and Major Groups form a steering committee to exchange reflections on the policy messages based upon extensive experience in the water and sanitation sector taking the different circumstances and requirements worldwide into account. In feedback fora, the Water Dialogues reach out to relevant stakeholders across the world regions informing about the ongoing process. At the High Level Meeting of the President of the General Assembly to promote Water Action Decade in March 2021, German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Svenja Schulze invited all UN Member states to join forces and to attend the High-level Conference on July 1, 2021 when the policy document will be officially published and handed-in for the preparations of the MTR of Water Action Decade.

To fill the participatory process with cross-sectoral life and receive further technical inputs beyond the silo thinking, six expert roundtables take place in May – each on one of the accelerators and an extra science roundtable. The outcome of these expert roundtables will eventually be consolidated in summarizing documents, which will be published and add to the policy messages.

These partially parallel processes have already started rolling and are to culminate in the High Level Meeting of Water Dialogues for Results Bonn 2021. A livestream on the website will provide the opportunity to everyone interested to follow the High-Level Conferences in different languages (Arabic, English, French, Spanish).

Together with other UN Member States, participants from Major Groups and international organizations the German Government initiated a dialogue to ensure accelerated implementation of water-related Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda. Representatives of UN member states around the globe and Major Groups form a steering committee to exchange reflections on the policy messages based upon extensive experience in the water and sanitation sector taking the different circumstances and requirements worldwide into account. In feedback fora, the Water Dialogues reach out to relevant stakeholders across the world regions informing about the ongoing process. At the High Level Meeting of the President of the General Assembly to promote Water Action Decade in March 2021, German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Svenja Schulze invited all UN Member states to join forces and to attend the High-level Conference on July 1, 2021 when the policy document will be officially published and handed-in for the preparations of the MTR of Water Action Decade.

To fill the participatory process with cross-sectoral life and receive further technical inputs beyond the silo thinking, six expert roundtables take place in May – each on one of the accelerators and an extra science roundtable. The outcome of these expert roundtables will eventually be consolidated in summarizing documents, which will be published and add to the policy messages.

These partially parallel processes have already started rolling and are to culminate in the High Level Meeting of Water Dialogues for Results Bonn 2021. A livestream on the website will provide the opportunity to everyone interested to follow the High-Level Conferences in different languages (Arabic, English, French, Spanish).

Focusing on water alone will not bring us back on track.

The highly cross-sectoral character of water makes the scarce resource key for bringing sectors together and translate synergies into action. Therefore, especially participants from related sectors are highly welcome to follow the process a it will need joint, cross-sectoral action to reach full speed on the way to fulfilling SDG 6 and with this accelerate also on the road to the majority of the other SDGs.