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UN-Water Bulletin

Volume 82 Number 32 | Monday, 5 February 2018


28th UN-Water Meeting

1-2 February 2018 | Rome, Italy


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The 28th UN-Water Meeting convened from 1-2 February 2018, in Rome, Italy, at the headquarters of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Approximately fifty delegates of UN-Water Members and Partners registered for the event, representing the UN Secretariat and UN agencies, funds, programs and other entities, multilateral environmental agreements, and civil society organizations. An additional twenty observers from governments and other organizations attended.

The meeting discussed upcoming high-level events and report launches related to water and sanitation policy and practice, including the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 (clean water and sanitation). The report of the High Level Panel on Water, which represents the first time the UN and the World Bank have convened a panel at the Heads of State and Government level, is expected to be launched in mid-March. Also in March, the global water and sanitation community will gather in Brasilia, Brazil, for the 8th World Water Forum, which will coincide with the annual celebration of World Water Day, on 22 March. The UN General Assembly President will convene a high-level event at UN Headquarters to launch the International Decade for Action – Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028) on 22 March. In preparation for the in depth review of implementation of SDG 6 as one of the sub-set of SDGs to receive such a review during the July 2018 meeting of the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), UN-Water Members have coordinated their efforts to establish a baseline for the SDG 6 indicators. This work will culminate in the launch of the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018, prior to the HLPF.

Work by UN-Water Members and Partners contributing to these events and reports was also noted to be taking place in light of ongoing efforts to reform the UN development system in order to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. At the conclusion of the 28th meeting of UN-Water, a group of observing UN Member States stressed the importance of strategically coordinating and aligning the efforts of UN-Water and its Members with the 2030 Agenda and the reform of the UN development system, including through coordination at the country level. In this light, the observers reiterated the importance of harmonized efforts and of UN-Water’s mandate to foster coordination within the UN to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

BRIEF HISTORY OF UN-WATER

Over 30 United Nations organizations carry out water and sanitation programmes, but no single UN entity is dedicated exclusively to these issues. The UN’s Intersecretariat Group for Water Resources began coordinating UN activities on water in 1977. Subsequently, in 2003, the UN Administrative Coordination Committee’s (ACC) Sub-committee on Water Resources transformed into UN-Water and was endorsed by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. UN-Water plays a coordinating role within the UN, to ensure that the UN family “delivers as one” in response to water-related challenges.

INITIATIVES: The overarching focus of UN-Water’s Members and Partners is to support UN Member States to sustainably manage water and sanitation. This mission is carried out through three areas of work.

Efforts to inform policies focus on placing water and sanitation issues on the agenda of key UN agreements, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs, the Paris Agreement on climate change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development. SDG 6 calls for the international community to strive to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Efforts to monitor and report seek to provide coherent and reliable data and information on key water trends and management issues. The Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 builds on and expands the experience and lessons learned during the Millennium Development Goal period, and aims to: develop methodologies and tools to monitor SDG 6 global indicators; raise awareness at national and global levels about SDG 6 monitoring; enhance technical and institutional country capacity for monitoring; and compile country data and report on global progress towards SDG 6.

Efforts to inspire action include coordination of the annual observance of World Water Day, on 22 March, and World Toilet Day, on 19 November. UN-Water releases the World Water Development Report on World Water Day annually.

GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE: UN agencies, programmes and funds with a water-related mandate are Members of UN-Water. Partners are international organizations, professional unions, associations or other civil-society groups that are actively involved in water and that have the capacity and willingness to contribute to the work of UN-Water.

UN-Water Senior Programme Managers (SPMs) are the representatives of UN-Water Members. They provide the overall governance and strategic direction, and constitute the highest operational decision-making body of UN-Water.

The Chair of UN-Water is nominated among the UN Executive Heads after consultations in the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. The Vice-Chair of UN-Water is elected among the UN-Water Senior Programme Managers. The Secretary of UN-Water is a senior staff member of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) in New York, and serves in a personal capacity and not in representation of UN DESA.

REPORT FROM UN-WATER MEETING

The 28th UN-Water Meeting opened on Thursday morning, 1 February 2018. The morning of the first day and afternoon of the second day were devoted to discussions among UN-Water Members and Partners with Special Status. The UN-Water Members and Partners with Special Status were joined in the afternoon, and on Friday morning, by UN-Water Partners. This report focuses on the deliberations during the sessions with UN-Water Partners.

UN-Water Chair Gilbert Houngbo welcomed UN-Water Members and Partners to the open session of the 28th meeting of UN-Water, and highlighted the importance of water and sanitation in international cooperation. He said UN-Water needs to demonstrate leadership, show it can overcome challenges, and deliver as one in theory and in practice, while avoiding overlap. He drew attention to key upcoming events, including the launch of the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028) on World Water Day, on 22 March 2018, and the HLPF in July 2018, which will review progress on SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation).

2030 AGENDA UPDATE AND RELATED INTERGOVERNMENTAL PROCESSES

Juwang Zhu, UN-Water Interim Secretary, provided an overview of preparations for the HLPF and shared the draft Secretary-General’s report titled, “Repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.” He stressed that the preparation for the HLPF discussion of SDG 6 is as important as the discussion at HLPF itself. He also called attention to Finland’s offer to host a briefing on the findings of the SDG 6 Synthesis Report, and noted that the Report’s findings would feed into the preparation of the Ministerial Declaration from the HLPF.

During a discussion, UN-Water Members and Partners asked: how the report’s recommendations would be picked up by Member States at the HLPF; how local authorities could participate; when Finland’s briefing would take place; and how UN-Water Members and Partners could coordinate their messages across the many HLPF side events they may participate in or organize.

Zhu responded that: recommendations would be submitted by Member States through the Secretariat; a concept note drafted with local authority partners would be shared; the Finnish Permanent Representative to the UN proposed hosting a briefing but has not yet set the date; and organizers should coordinate their side events to avoid overlap.

UN-Water Chief Technical Adviser, Federico Properzi, further highlighted work with regional commissions on the SDG 6 Synthesis Report.

MONITORING AND REPORTING

The SDG 6 Integrated Monitoring Initiative: William Reidhead, UN-Water Global Monitoring Officer, updated the meeting on activities that took place in 2017 related to SDG 6 monitoring. He noted that work in 2017 sought to generate a critical mass of baseline data and to initiate monitoring and capacity building activities. On institutional capacity building, he noted that efforts have focused on 30 countries and lessons from a capacity building pilot project were summarized in a document on good practices for country monitoring systems. He reported that seed grants had been made available to start national integrated monitoring processes, and two important events were organized: an African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) regional monitoring workshop in Accra, in May 2017, which involved bilateral discussions with countries that were setting their indicator baselines and discussions on harmonization and alignment; and a Global Workshop on SDG 6 Integrated Monitoring convened in November in The Hague, the Netherlands, and brought together 150 participants from 75 member states, plus UN and other organizations, to discuss outcomes and lessons from the baseline setting process. Reidhead noted that indicator-specific reports would be launched during World Water Week 2018 in Stockholm, the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 would be unveiled for HLPF 2018, and an indicator portal will be developed.

Representatives from the organizations that serve as custodians for the SDG 6 indicators presented progress in developing the baseline assessments for the SDG 6 Synthesis Report. Initial data sets, as well as data gaps, were noted for many of the SDG 6 indicators. For example, in 2015, for 6.2.1a (proportion of population using safely managed sanitation services), 39% of global population used a safely managed sanitation service, while 12% practiced open defecation. For 6.5.2 (proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation), it was noted that there had been a high level of participation despite the fact that this issue is sensitive for many countries. Nonetheless, intensive engagement with countries has been necessary to validate the data, and further capacity building on the indicator is necessary.

Reidhead noted that 2018 activities would include an external review and Phase II planning, the first meeting of a Strategic Advisory Group (SAG), country capacity building, building stronger linkages with regional platforms, and increased coordination and outreach to countries.

During the discussion, a representative from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) announced that OECD would launch a self-assessment tool for diagnosing water governance needs and priorities for action during the World Water Forum in March.

Update on the SDG6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation: Stefan Uhlenbrook, Coordinator, UN World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP), UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), provided an update on the drafting process for the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018. He explained that the report provides the global status of SDG 6 and explores the linkages with the other SDGs, and indicated that data compilation and interpretation of the data of the SDG 6 targets and indicators was nearly finished, as were most of the interlinkages analyses. He said an editor, drafting team and external review panel have been appointed. He introduced the chapters to be included in the report, drew attention to the timeline and to feedback deadlines. He discussed outreach activities that will take place in the lead up to the July 2018 meeting of the HLPF and said the printed version will be published by June. He underscored the possibility of doing a public consultation in early March, with “pros” for this approach including increasing credibility and transparency, and “cons” including the feasibility and need for resources. He outlined potential alternatives to a public consultation, such as an interactive website.

During the discussion, a representative from Finland provided details on the planned briefing on the SDG 6 Synthesis Report, to be held in New York, possibly scheduled for April. She said the goal would be to increase knowledge of the report and increase the dissemination of its findings.

Participants then discussed options for carrying out an external consultation on the draft, before finalizing the SDG 6 Synthesis Report. Several voiced support, noting the possibility of learning from other sectors, with some providing positive examples, for instance on food security consultations within the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) and via platforms such “The World We Want,” and details of how electronic consultations are carried out, with feedback gathered and then acted upon. Some stressed the priority for transparency, inclusiveness and ownership, noting the process is more important than the document itself and nothing should jeopardize the outcomes being taken into account by the HLPF. Others drew attention to the outreach activities taking place in the lead up to the HLPF and to the many consultations that had taken place in the drafting of the report. Some participants voiced concerns related primarily to time constraints, proposing to consult after the HLPF in order to also provide a meaningful follow-up to the SDG 6 discussion in July.

Uhlenbrook, WWAP, UNESCO, noted that those in favor had been heard and said that any consultation would have to be done “properly” with appropriate time and resources, following a credible process, and suggested forming a small task force to reflect on how to move forward. The Task Force met at the end of the day.

Delegates called for specific linkages with food, peace and security, with Uhlenbrook agreeing and noting that linkages with peace needed to be better quantified, based on SDG data. Another participant stressed the importance of including information on financing.

Uhlenbrook explained that members of the external review panel had been chosen from a long list of potential candidates using criteria that included gender-balance, regional representation, and a mix of background and expertise.

One participant asked for more details on the HLPF and suggested creating a repository or information-sharing system to help UN-Water Members and Partners coordinate their side events. Secretary Zhu noted that the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) ultimately decides the HLPF agenda, with technical advice from the UN-Water Secretariat.

On outreach, finance and mobilizing resources, the OECD drew attention to the Roundtable on Financing Water, which is a joint initiative with the World Water Council and the Netherlands that focuses on engaging the finance community on water issues, to scale up financing and mobilize more resources.

UN-Water Members and Partners agreed to provide comments on the first complete draft SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 from 9-22 February 2018. In addition, the SPMs agreed that UN-Water would initiate a public dialogue on the main findings of the SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018, starting in April 2018 at a briefing for UN Permanent Missions in New York. The SPM also agreed that the feedback received from the public dialogue would be presented at subsequent fora, including the UN-Water Stakeholder Dialogue at the Stockholm World Water Week in August 2018, and the UN-Water Task Force on the SDG 6 Synthesis Report would consolidate and disseminate the feedback by the end of 2018.

Update on the World Water Development Reports 2018 and 2019: Uhlenbrook, WWAP, UNESCO, noted that the 2018 edition of the World Water Development Report (WWDR) is focused on nature-based solutions and is currently in layout. He said it will be published along with an executive summary and a facts and figures document, and will be available for the World Water Forum and regional launch events on World Water Day (22 March).

He said the working title for the 2019 edition is “Leaving No One Behind,” and an inception meeting has taken place to discuss the concept and the content.

The SPMs invited UN-Water Members and Partners to promote the WWDR with support of UNESCO (WWAP).

SELECTED REPORTS AND PROGRESS UPDATES

Update on the High Level Panel on Water: UN-Water Secretary Zhu reported that the High Level Panel on Water’s report will be accompanied by a video and an open letter from the Panel, for publication in key media outlets. He recalled that this Panel represents the first time the UN and the World Bank have convened a panel at the Heads of State and Government level, and this approach is being assessed for lessons learned. He also noted that the Panel became aware of the level of expertise within UN-Water as the Panel proceeded, and stressed that the full value of UN-Water should be capitalized on for future such endeavors.

Update on Regional-level Coordination: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), for the Task Force on Regional Level Coordination, reviewed the progress that each region had made. She said ESCAP and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) jointly coordinated the task force and a special focus was on how to follow up on SDG 6. She reported that consultations have been finalized in ESCAP and ESCWA, but they are at various stages of incompleteness in the other regions due to other priorities and some changes in leadership. She requested an extension for the project until 2019.

During the discussion, participants highlighted the importance of regional coordination, especially in line with the proposed reform of the UN development system.

The SPMs decided to extend the timeline of the Task Force on Regional Level Coordination, including the use of Task Force’s existing funds, until the 30th UN-Water Meeting, to allow for consultations to be held in interested regions and to support further the establishment of recommended coordination structures.

UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) Conference of the Parties (COP13) - Decisions Relevant to UN-Water: Daniel Tsegai, UNCCD, highlighted a decision taken at the September 2017 UNCCD COP relevant to UN-Water Members and Partners, explaining the UNCCD decided to launch a global drought initiative with the involvement of 54 countries. He noted that the UNCCD is looking for partners to help countries develop their drought plans, and said regional workshops will also be convened to ensure that countries’ plans are coordinated and that they can learn from each other.

During the discussion, participants noted that other UN-Water Members have related programs, such as the FAO’s Global Framework on Water Scarcity, and one highlighted that mayors are interested in this topic.

Groundwater Overview: Making the Iinvisible Visible: Neno Kukuric, Director, International Groundwater Resources Assessment Centre (IGRAC), highlighted progress in developing an overview of existing UN-Water Member and Partners’ activities related to groundwater, noting that 25-30 contributions have been received thus far. He said an overview will be presented at the World Water Forum in March.

Side Event Launch: At the conclusion of the first day, the Australian Ambassador to Italy, Greg French, launched a report titled, “Good Practice Guidelines for Water Data Management Policy,” which was developed as an initiative of the High Level Panel on Water - World Water Data Initiative.

GLOBAL CAMPAIGNS

Report on World Toilet Day 2017 on Wastewater: The coordinator of the Task Force on World Toilet Day 2017, Kate Medlicott, World Health Organization (WHO), reported on the experience for this celebration in 2017. She stressed that strong coordination was important for successful events on the Day and that consideration should be given to how to keep online conversations active. She also noted that the preferred model is to emphasize quality events over quantity, and to have a high-level policy session.

Update on World Water Day 2018 on Nature for Water: The coordinator of the Task Force on World Water Day 2018, Lisa Janishevski, Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), noted that the campaign for World Water Day 2018 seeks to inform and inspire, increase understanding and encourage research on water-related issues. She highlighted efforts to coordinate this campaign with other events, including the launch of the World Water Development Report and the World Wide Fund for Nature WWF’s Earth Hour.

The SPMs approved the workplan, budget and timeline for the World Water Day 2018 campaign.

Creation of Task Forces and Selection of Coordinator(s) for World Toilet Day 2018 and World Water Day 2019: Daniella Bostrom, UN-Water Communications Manager, introduced the upcoming celebrations of World Toilet Day 2018, which will focus on the theme, “When Nature Calls,” and World Water Day 2019, which will focus on the theme, “No One Left Behind.” She noted that each event requires a task force.

Several UN-Water Members and Partners volunteered to participate in the task forces and met separately to select a coordinator, following which the SPMs decided to create: a Task Force on World Toilet Day 2018 that would be coordinated by World Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), with membership of the International Labour Organization (ILO), WHO, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and UN University (UNU); and a Task Force on World Water Day 2019 that would be coordinated by Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with membership of AquaFed, CBD, FAO, ILO, UNCCD, UNDP, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, UNICEF, UNU, UN Women, Waterlex, and WSSCC.

Support to the “International Decade for Action – Water for Sustainable Development” 2018 – 2028: Vladimir Smakhtin, Director, UNU, discussed progress made by the Task Force on Decade Planning and Organization. He noted that the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) and UNU are co-coordinators of the Task Force, and that the Task Force has developed a revised decade action plan and organized a Member State briefing at UN Headquarters in New York. He said that, currently, the action plan includes over 100 activities from 35 UN-Water Members and Partners, and the decade has three objectives: to advance sustainable development; energize the implementation of existing programs and projects; and mobilize action to achieve the 2030 Agenda. He highlighted the need to establish a UN-Water Task Force or Expert Group on Decade Implementation, and to schedule a mid-term review of the Decade. He said comments on the action plan from Member States and UN coordination called for a greater focus on the Decade as a conduit for more coordinated approaches and a catalyst for implementation of water-related Goals, including through organizing an annual event such as an “action day”, establishing clarity on the leadership and capacity within UN-Water, clearly outlining UN DESA’s role and giving it more of a focus, and adjusting the Decade’s objectives and criteria for success.

Smakhtin said the campaign website, produced jointly by all 70 UN-Water Members and Partners, will include links to contributing activities by Members and Partners. The website will have three sections: actions by UN-Water, actions by Member States, and engaging the public. He highlighted that the Decade would be launched on 22 March and would be further discussed during the Dushanbe Conference in Tajikistan in June. He encouraged participants to consider whether the existing Decade task force should serve for the first two years or if it should be replaced by a new task force, and suggested that either way, the membership of the task force should be reviewed regularly.

Zhu highlighted that the implementation of the Decade would provide an opportunity to demonstrate the UN delivering as one. He noted that the President of the UN General Assembly has identified the launch of the Decade as one of three major events of his tenure, and that the launch will take place during a high profile event attended by Heads of State and Government.

Lukmon Isomatov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tajikistan, said the Dushanbe Conference would be preceded by a youth forum and women’s forum, and include side events.

During the discussion, a UN-Water Member suggested linking activities to ocean issues, later clarifying that this would be in the context of links between water and the ocean, such as the transport of plastics through waterways to the ocean. An observer noted that the proposal for water action day was not foreseen in the UNGA resolution establishing the Decade. Many noted that additional funding would be necessary for such a day and the resolution calls for the Decade to be organized within existing resources. The SPMs agreed to create a Water Action Decade Task Force on implementation comprised of the current task force membership for two years and approved its terms of reference.

FUTURE EVENTS FOR UN-WATER’S POSSIBLE ENGAGEMENT

Update on 8th World Water Forum: Teresa Liguori, World Water Council, presented on preparations for the 8th World Water Forum, which will convene in Brasilia, Brazil, from 18-22 March 2018, under the overarching theme of “Sharing Water.” She said the preliminary program includes 174 ordinary sessions, of which 95 have a thematic focus and 61 have a regional focus, while 18 are citizen forums. She said the 71 special sessions will include 18 high-level panels and 43 special-focus sessions. She described the thematic framework, its themes, topics and sessions, each of which is led by four to five coordinating organizations. She said the special sessions coordinated by UN-Water and other organizations are: Global Launch of the UN World Water Development Report 2018 on the theme, “Nature-based Solutions for Water;’ Global Monitoring and Reporting of SDG 6; and World Water Day. She drew attention to the political process and its ministerial statement as well as to the involvement of judges and prosecutors in the Forum. She said the public will be able to take part in educational and recreational activities related to water in the Citizen Village and that there will be a solutions market, a film festival, a hydro-cafe space and several public sessions.

A representative from United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) then presented on the 5th International Conference of Local and Regional Authorities, which will take place during the World Water Forum. Participants were urged to acknowledge lead agencies during the launch of reports.

World Water Week 2019 in Stockholm: Torgny Holmgren, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), briefed participants on planning for World Water Week 2019, which will take place in Stockholm at the end of August 2019. He said the Week will focus on the theme “Water for Society: Including All” which he said ties in with the 2019 World Water Day theme “Leaving No One Behind.” He invited UN-Water to become a Key Collaborating Partner for World Water Week 2019. In discussions, UNHCR and OHCHR voiced their support, noting they would both take the lead as contact organizations.

The SPMs agreed to accept SIWI’s invitation for UN-Water to become a Key Collaborating Partner of the 2019 World Water Week in Stockholm and identified UNHCR and OHCHR as lead contact organizations.

Johannes Cullmann, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), drew attention to a global conference on “Prosperity through Hydrological Services,” which will be held in Geneva, from 7-9 May 2018. He called for better partnerships along the value chain, saying there would be a high-level ministerial segment at the end of the conference.

WORK PROGRAM 2018-2019

Federico Properzi, UN-Water Chief Technical Adviser, presented the Work Program 2018-2019, noting that it is guided by the UN-Water 2014-2020 Strategy. He also introduced the Work Program 2018-2019 Background Brief, the draft results matrix structure and indicative 2018-2019 budget. He called on participants to keep the broader picture in mind and continue to support Member States in developing the various policy agendas and frameworks to guide their work.

He presented on the structure of the work program, noting that it has four result areas: informing policy processes and addressing emerging issues; supporting monitoring and reporting on water and sanitation; building knowledge and inspiring people to take action; and effective management efforts aimed at improved coordination and coherence among UN-Water Members and Partners at all levels. He highlighted the outcomes and main activities under each.

In the ensuing discussion, participants noted that some indicators are better measured than others, and called for support for reporting mechanisms that are useful to national planning processes and for prioritizing amongst the interlinkages. Another stressed the need for integrating water into climate change processes, such as by framing adaptation needs in terms of water as water is an essential commodity for mitigation, and by getting more visibility for UN-Water within the climate debate.

Participants also: underscored the complete dependence of agriculture on water; stressed that water is intertwined with food, energy and biodiversity; and called for work done under other targets, such as the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, to be taken into account by UN-Water and for the work of UN-Water to be better promoted. Properzi suggested improving the language to reflect the comments and provide more clarity, and Chair Houngbo noted the Draft Decision allowed for such integrations.

The SPM approved the Results Matrix structure, Indicative Budget, and narrative Work Program for 2018-2019, and agreed that, based on the approved Results Matrix structure, the relevant coordinating entity may submit to the UN-Water Joint Steering Group, as necessary, a detailed work plan and budget for approval and disbursement of funds. In addition, the SPMs requested the UN-Water Technical Advisory Unit to finalize the full Results Matrix and circulate it by email to the SPMs for approval by the end of April 2018.

DATE AND VENUE OF NEXT UN-WATER MEETING AND CLOSING REMARKS

UN-Water Chair Houngbo announced that the 29th UN-Water meeting will take place from 24-25 August 2018, in Stockholm, Sweden.

In a joint statement on behalf of Switzerland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Finland and Norway, Sweden commended UN-Water activities and encouraged custodian agencies for the SDG 6 indicators to continue engaging with UN-Water and coordinating on water-related activities. Together they called for efforts to position water issues higher on the political agenda and for caution to avoid duplication. In looking forward to the SDG 6 Synthesis Report, they stressed it should be concise and politically-digestible to maximize its impact at the HLPF. They underscored that achieving the SDGs requires working together on targeted interventions and action at the country level to harmonize efforts to fulfill the 2030 Agenda.

David Boys, Public Services International, drew attention to the importance of working on water-issues at the lowest possible level and connecting with municipal entities, and called for partnerships to be developed.

UN-Water Chair Houngbo closed the meeting at 12:33 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

8th World Water Forum: This meeting is organized by the World Water Council (WWC) with the goal of enhancing dialogue of the decision-making process on water at the global level, and seeking to achieve the rational and sustainable use of this resource.  dates: 18-23 March 2018 location: Brasilia, Brazil e-mail: contact@worldwaterforum8.org www: http://www.worldwaterforum8.org/8th-world-water-forum-march-18-23-2018

Launch of International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028): The UNGA will launch the International Decade for Action: Water for sustainable development (2018-2028) on World Water Day, on 22 March, as one of three main events related to the implementation of the SDGs that the UNGA President is organizing in 2018.  date: 22 March 2018 location: New York City, US contact: UNGA President’s Office www: https://www.un.org/pga/72/event-latest/launch-of-the-international-decade-of-water-for-sustainable-development-2018-2028/

World Water Day 2018: World Water Day is coordinated by UN-Water with governments and partners, under the 2018 theme of “Nature for Water”.  date: 22 March 2018 location: worldwide www: http://www.worldwaterday.org/ http://www.un.org/en/events/waterday/

Global Conference on Prosperity through Hydrological Services: Organized by WMO, the Conference will focus on hydrological services and forging partnerships along the value chain, and will include a high-level segment.  date: 7-9 May 2018 location: Geneva, Switzerland www: https://www.wmo.int/edistrib_exped/grp_has/_en/2017-08-07-CLW-HWR-ID28928_en.pdf

High-Level Conference on International Decade of Water for Sustainable Development: This meeting is being organized jointly by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the UN and will facilitate the implementation of the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Sustainable Development,’ 2018-2028.  dates: 20-22 June 2018 location: Dushanbe, Tajikistan www: https://wsdconf2018.org/

HLPF 2018: The sixth session of the HLPF 2018, convening under the auspices of the UN ECOSOC, will take place from 9-18 July 2018, under the theme: ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’. The sub-set of SDGs to be reviewed in depth by HLPF 2018 will be: SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production), and SDG 15 (life on land). Goal 17 (Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development) is also considered each year. dates: 9-18 July 2018 location: New York City, US www: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2018

29th UN-Water Meeting: This meeting will gather UN-Water Members and Partners to discuss issues related to UN-Water, and will take place immediately prior to the annual World Water Week.  dates: 24-25 August 2018 location: Stockholm, Sweden www: http://www.unwater.org

World Water Week 2018: The 28th World Water Week, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and partners, will focus on the theme, ‘Water, Ecosystems and Human Development’. dates: 26-31 August 2018  location: Stockholm, Sweden  www: http://www.worldwaterweek.org

World Toilet Day 2018: World Toilet Day aims to encourage behavioral change and the implementation of policies to increase access to sanitation among the poor and a call to end open-air defecation. The 2018 theme is: ‘When nature calls’.  date: 19 November 2018 location: worldwide contact: UN-Water www: http://www.un.org/en/events/toiletday/

2018 UN Biodiversity Conference: The 14th meeting of the CBD Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the 9th Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and the 3rd Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (CBD COP 14, Cartagena Protocol COP/MOP 9, and Nagoya Protocol COP/MOP 3) will address a series of issues related to implementation of the Convention and its Protocols.  dates: 7-22 November 2018 location: Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt contact: CBD Secretariat phone: +1-514-288-2220 e-mail: secretariat@cbd.int www: https://www.cbd.int/cop/

Katowice Climate Change Conference: The 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC will take place from 3-14 December 2018, in Poland.  dates: 3-14 December 2018 location: Katowice, Poland contact: UNFCCC Secretariat phone: (49-228) 815-1000 fax: (49-228) 815-1999 e-mail: secretariat@unfccc.int www: http://cop24.gov.pl

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