UN Water Conference and World Water Day 2023


New York, 22-24 March 2023 - This week, forty-six years after the first United Nations Water Conference, the second such conference is being held in New York.

Logo Weltwassertag
Logo Weltwassertag© UN

Governments, the private sector and civil society organizations will meet in New York from Wednesday to Friday to discuss solutions to the worsening global water problems. 

Some 6,500 participants are expected to attend the conference, including 20 heads of state and government, dozens of ministers and hundreds of representatives of social groups and the business community.

The Special Representative of the Government of the Netherlands, Henk Ovink, underlined: 

For the first time in 46 years, the world is coming together to talk about water. For us, this means a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, it is now or never.

The Netherlands is co-hosting the UN Water Summit with Tajikistan.

At the UN conference, governments, public administration and the private sector are to present proposals for solutions. 

UN Secretary-General António Guterres wants the water summit to draw up an ambitious program with concrete proposals for action. The outcome will be a collection of voluntary commitments (“Water Action Agenda”).

This year's World Water Day on March 22 also marks the start of the conference and is themed “Accelerating Change”.

Every individual is called upon to “Be the Change” oneself, to rethink the consumption of water and to participate in achieving the goal: for example, save water, take shorter showers, repair dripping faucets, do not dispose of medicines, food scraps, chemicals in the toilet, do not throw garbage into streams, rivers and the environment.

Information material is available at https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/be-the-change/

Background Information

Changing climatic conditions are affecting the global water cycle, leading to an increasing number and intensification of devastating extreme weather events such as floods or droughts and dry spells.

Countries in the Global South are particularly affected. Millions of people from Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya struggled to survive in the face of scarce water sources, hunger, insecurity and conflict.

More than 1.7 million people in Ethiopia and Somalia have been displaced because of the drought, the organization said, citing figures from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Most of them in the past year.

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