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Advancing Transboundary Water Coop thru commitments to UN 2023 Water Confce

Water 2023-03-17, 9:34pm


Some participants at the webinar on transboundary water cooperation held on 27 February 2023.

The 2023 United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028, its preparatory process and follow-up represent a crucial opportunity to advance transboundary water cooperation and strengthen transboundary water governance at bilateral, transboundary, regional and global levels. 

The United Nations is asking for voluntary commitments to form what will be known as the Water Action Agenda, so as to spur concrete action by stakeholders with a goal to accelerate implementation and improve impact towards Sustainable Development Goal 6 on water and sanitation.

Governments, organizations and other stakeholders were on 27 February invited to a webinar Advancing Transboundary Water Cooperation through commitments to the United Nations 2023 Water Conference, organized by the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition, a multi-stakeholder partnership working to encourage commitments on transboundary water cooperation for the Water Action Agenda.

The webinar presented the Water Action Agenda and provideed details about how to make commitments, why commitments on transboundary water are useful, what kinds of commitments can be made, and offers examples.

Meeting outcome

The webinar encouraged the submission of commitments on transboundary water cooperation to the Water Action Agenda, one of the key outcomes of UN 2023 Water Conference. In particular, the webinar:

Explained the role of the Water Action Agenda and the linkages between the Water Action Agenda, the global review of SDG 6 at the High-Level Political Forum in July 2023 and the SDG Summit in September 2023, as well as informed about the Water Action Agenda process and review up to 2030;

Clarified the voluntary nature of commitments to be submitted and who can submit commitments, and provided details how to make commitments at the UN 2023 Water Conference website;

Presented the Indicative commitments on transboundary water cooperation, developed by the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition and highlighted four key pillars where such commitments can take place ((a) Legal and institutional dimensions of transboundary water cooperation, (b) Data, information, knowledge and technical support for transboundary water cooperation, (c) Capacity development for transboundary water cooperation, (d) Funding and financing for transboundary water cooperation);

Demonstrated examples of concrete commitments to the Water Action Agenda that have already been prepared by various actors (the governments of Namibia and Uganda, the European Union, the Mekong River Commission, the Inter-American Development bank, the International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre, the Geneva Water Hub and Stockholm International Water Institute) as a way to inspire commitments by others;

Allowed the participants to share information on the various side events linked to transboundary cooperation, water and peace taking place during the UN 2023 Water Conference.

In addition, participants learned about the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition, a multi-stakeholder partnership of 40+ governments, organisations and stakeholders launched ahead of the UN 2023 Water Conference to highlight the critical importance of transboundary cooperation and inspire commitments in this area.