Summary report, 18–19 August 2023

38th UN-Water Meeting

As UN-Water Members, Partners and observers met for the first time since the UN 2023 Water Conference, the 38th UN-Water Meeting focused on ensuring an effective and ambitious follow-up to the Conference and its outcomes. High on the agenda—and on everyone’s mind—was the rollout of actions and processes to ensure commitments are achieved, and momentum is gained and retained, for implementing and achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6, clean water and sanitation) by 2030.

The UN 2023 Water Conference, which took place 46 years after the last major UN conference of its kind, marked a once-in-a-generation opportunity to put water and sanitation on the global agenda. At a time when 26% of the world’s population—nearly two billion people—does not have access to safe drinking water and 3.6 billion lack access to safe sanitation services, participants agreed that it is more important than ever to accelerate work to implement SDG 6. Key outcomes from the Conference included a call for the establishment of a UN Special Envoy on Water, and the launch of the World Action Agenda, which now comprises over 800 voluntary commitments from countries and stakeholders.

The focus of the 38th UN-Water Meeting was to ensure follow-up to the Conference outcomes is sustained and effective. A sense of urgency was palpable throughout the two-day meeting, with the Special Rapporteur on rights to water and sanitation making a powerful point, recalling that “without water there is no future.”

In response, participants put their heads together in “World Café” styled small group discussions on topics ranging from whether and how to pursue a UN-wide strategy for water and sanitation, to the granularities of a survey to enable the clustering and implementation of commitments under the Water Action Agenda. Under this format they also discussed how to mainstream water across UN agencies and sectors, and enable implementation of SDG 6. Proposals from these rich discussions were taken up during the subsequent closed meeting of UN-Water Members, with the goal of integrating them into the UN-Water work programme.

During the open meeting, participants also heard reports on progress on the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, including the Capacity Development Initiative, the Taskforce on Country Level Engagement, Regional Level coordination, the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6, the Roadmap on human rights to water and sanitation, and operationalizing the Innovation Accelerator. There were also updates on the UN World Water Development Report 2024, a joint publication with UN Women, activities of the UN-Water Expert Group on Water and Climate Change, among others.

Before leaving, participants were reminded of why their work is important. Spread across the room were origami hummingbirds, folded by children in the run up to the UN 2023 Water Conference, sending a message that although individually one can only carry mere droplets, together they can create rivers of change.

The 38th UN-Water Meeting convened in Stockholm, Sweden, from 18-19 August 2023, at the headquarters of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The meeting included an open session and Friday and Saturday, followed by a closed Saturday afternoon session for UN-Water Members only. Approximately 100 UN-Water Members, Partners and observers registered to join the event, with 30 joining virtually.

A Brief History of UN-Water

While over 30 UN organizations carry out water and sanitation programmes, no single UN entity is dedicated exclusively to these issues. In 1977, the UN’s Inter-Secretariat Group for Water Resources began coordinating UN activities on water. Subsequently, in 2003, the UN Administrative Coordination Committee’s Subcommittee on Water Resources was transformed into UN-Water and endorsed by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB). UN-Water plays a coordinating role within the UN to ensure the UN family “delivers as one” in response to water-related challenges.

UN-Water Meetings bring together Members and Partners (see the full list of Members and Partners at the end of this report) twice a year to carry out the mandate of informing policies, monitoring and reporting, and inspiring action on water and sanitation issues. Participants include representatives of the UN Secretariat and UN agencies, funds, programmes and other entities, multilateral environmental agreements, civil society organizations, and other organizations. Representatives from UN Member States also participate in UN-Water meetings as observers.

Initiatives: The overarching focus of UN-Water’s Members and Partners is to support UN Member States to sustainably manage water and sanitation.

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. SDG 6 calls for the international community to strive to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030.

Monitoring and reporting efforts seek to provide coherent and reliable data and information on key water trends and management issues. The Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6 (IMI-SDG 6) builds on and expands the experiences and lessons learned during implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. It aims to:

  • develop methodologies and tools to monitor SDG 6 global indicators;
  • raise awareness at the national and global levels regarding SDG 6 monitoring;
  • enhance technical and institutional country capacity for monitoring; and
  • compile country data and report on global progress on 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 annual World Water Development Report (WWDR) on World Water Day.

Governance Structure: UN agencies, programmes, and funds with a water-related mandate are Members of UN-Water. Partners are international organizations, professional unions, associations, and other civil society groups that are actively involved in water-related issues and that have the capacity and willingness to contribute to the work of UN-Water and meet UN-Water’s partnership criteria.

UN-Water Senior Programme Managers (SPMs) represent UN-Water Members. They provide the overall governance and strategic direction and constitute the highest operational decision-making body of UN-Water. UN-Water is supported in its work by its Technical Advisory Unit (TAU).

The UN-Water Chair is chosen among the UN Executive Heads after consultations within the CEB. The current Chair is Gilbert Houngbo, Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO). The UN-Water Vice-Chair is elected among the UN-Water SPMs. The UN-Water Secretary is a senior staff member of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA).

UN-Water Report

On Friday, 18 August 2023, UN-Water Chair Gilbert Houngbo welcomed UN-Water Members and Partners to the open session of the 38th UN-Water Meeting and highlighted that, as the first meeting following the UN 2023 Water Conference and the release of the 2023 SDG 6 Synthesis Report, this session will provide an opportunity to conduct a “deep dive” into the recommendations and outcomes from these activities. He noted the importance of mainstreaming intergovernmental processes and said a UN system-wide strategy for water and sanitation should build on the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework. He called for participants to think about how to support a special envoy on water once that appointment is announced.

Eva Lövgren, Deputy Director, International Organisations and Policy Support, SIDA, welcomed participants to SIDA’s headquarters and stressed the need to ensure and sustain water security to achieve the SDGs. She highlighted the importance of equitable, participatory decision-making approaches to ensure freshwater ecosystems are sustained. She also called attention to the need for improved water stewardship in sectors that use a lot of water, such as agriculture, manufacturing, and mining. She also welcomed efforts to address linkages between climate and water policies.

SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework

SDG Capacity Development Initiative: Abou Amani, Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP), updated participants on the SDG 6 Capacity Development Initiative, which aims to enhance inter-agency coordination and respond to country-specific capacity needs in developing national plans for water action. He highlighted that Panama and Costa Rica had been designated as pilot countries, with initial activities currently being planned for both countries. Following questions from the audience, Amani stressed the importance of work being driven by government initiatives and demand, and that they aim to harness existing powers and efforts within the UN system to build national capacity.

Country Level Engagement: Farai Tunhuma, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), gave an update on the UN-Water Taskforce on Country Level Engagement, highlighting their work to support countries in accelerating progress on SDG 6, acting as knowledge-brokers on water-related expertise, and coordinating work between actors on the ground, including with UN Resident Coordinators.

During discussions, several speakers highlighted the importance of demand-driven work and said the Task Force should be inspired by initiatives on the ground. Participants also highlighted the importance of greater coordination between agencies working within countries to avoid confusion, maximize impact, and ensure complementarity of work. One participant pointed out that some Resident Coordinators now represent two or more UN agencies, and called attention to an upcoming workshop by an Issue-Based Coalition on mainstreaming water and the environment into country-level strategies. They also noted approximately 20 countries are developing implementation plans to join the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Law.

Regional Level Coordination: Ziad Khayat, UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), presented the workplan and budget for the Expert Group on Regional Level Coordination and reported on recent activities. He stressed the successful engagement and regional dialogue session during the UN 2023 Water Conference, and thanked the donors who made this possible. In the lead up to the 2023 High-level Political Forum (HLPF), the regional commissions also convened regional forums on sustainable development with a special focus on accelerating efforts to meet the SDG 6 targets.

Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6: William Reidhead, UN-Water, presented recent activities under the Integrated Monitoring Initiative for SDG 6. He said the initiative is now focused on building capacity to use the data, rather than only gathering it. The initiative prepared country acceleration snapshots in the lead up to the UN 2023 Water Conference to demonstrate the scale of achievement in selected countries. He described the country acceleration case studies prepared for Senegal, Pakistan, Costa Rica, Brazil, Ghana, and Singapore, including processes, enabling conditions, and lessons learned in each country related to SDG 6 implementation. Reidhead also discussed projects related to gender contextualization work and water basin data mapping.

Roadmap on Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: Harumi Fuentes, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, highlighted current efforts, including human rights advocacy under a “leaving no one behind” perspective, multi-stakeholder engagement, dialogues to raise awareness on human rights, and side events at international conferences. Pedro Arrojo-Aguodo, Special Rapporteur on the human rights to water and sanitation, underlined that the road map is the most valuable effort to promote a human rights approach to water management. He stressed the importance of a UN-level global political declaration on water that enshrines mainstreaming and policy coherence under a human rights-based approach. In the ensuing discussions, one participant said the budget allocation of USD 10,000 was too low for this work. Others stressed the importance of hygiene as part of the human rights to water and sanitation, and the importance of water tenure and the significance of existing entry points from the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and UN Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas (UNDROP).

Operationalizing the Innovation Accelerator of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework: Colin Herron, Global Water Partnership, identified proposed action pathways for the innovation accelerator, including making use of the Water Action Agenda to identify and support game changing initiatives and propose partnerships and matchmaking among the projects. Herron said a Water Innovation Hub would be an innovation laboratory that fosters solutions to water challenges and acts as a clearinghouse for external water innovations. It could also foster national innovation ecosystems, recommend the adoption of public policy levers for a favorable enabling environment, encourage systems of open collaboration and trust-building between public and private sectors, and promote public sector innovation through policies, data, financing schemes, and procurement.

During the discussion, speakers called for embracing new technologies, citizen science, and open data. Challenges related to advancing democratic governance and effective participation of the most affected people were highlighted. One speaker noted that venture capitalists are not interested in funding innovations in governance, even though governance innovations can have a big impact.

The Senior Programme Managers decided to create a Task Force on Innovation to develop recommendations for advancing the innovation accelerator of the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework for discussion at the next UN-Water Meeting. UN-Water Members and Partners should contact the Technical Advisory Unit with expressions of interest to join the Task Force.

Follow-up to the UN 2023 Water Conference

On 18 August 2023, speakers from the Netherlands and Tajikistan—the two co-hosts of the UN 2023 Water Conference—opened the discussion on follow-up to the UN 2023 Water Conference.

Aart van der Horst (Netherlands) highlighted that the Conference raised awareness of water issues, although he expressed concern that we are losing traction on the Water Action Agenda. Sulton Rahimzoda (Tajikistan) noted the Water Action Agenda will not be enough to achieve the SDGs and stressed the need for a UN system-wide approach for water and sanitation. He discussed his expectation that the UN General Assembly would adopt a resolution on follow-up to the Conference soon, and informed participants that the next Dushanbe Conference would be organized according to the interactive themes discussed during the UN 2023 Water Conference.

Following these scene-setting statements, the four topics to be discussed during World Café-style discussions on options to follow-up on the Conference were introduced. UN-Water Members and Partners proceeded to share their ideas about each topic in the small-group discussion format. The following summaries introduce the topics discussed in each session and key conclusions from the sessions.

Follow-up on the Water Action Agenda: Madhushree Chatterjee, UN-Water Secretary and UN DESA Programme Manager, facilitated the discussions on this topic. In her introduction, she highlighted that 832 voluntary commitments have been submitted to date for the Water Action Agenda. Noting some interesting themes that emerged upon an initial analysis of the commitments, she said some information gaps still exist on expected impact, geographical coverage, vague deliverables, start/end dates, and understanding how progress can be measured. She asked participants to consider clustering the commitments to help review and monitor progress, and to identify networks and coalitions of relevant agencies and like-minded groups to support collective efforts towards implementation. To address the above, she also asked participants to reflect on the process of a proposed follow-up survey to all commitment holders.

Tomoyuki Okada, UN DESA, presented a summary of the discussions. He noted support for clustering the commitments, especially the need for understanding which and how many commitments are related to certain themes, sectors, or countries. Several participants suggested the scientific community could support the analysis, with tools such as artificial intelligence or engaging with other sources of information technology, to help identify clusters.

On how best to cluster the commitments, participants discussed options including: according to the SDG 6 targets; aligning them with the interactive dialogue themes from the UN 2023 Water Conference (water for health, sustainable development, climate, cooperation, and the Water Action Decade); or in line with the five key areas under the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework (financing; data and information; capacity development; innovation; and governance).

On measuring the achievement of commitments, several participants pointed to the baseline data provided through IMI-SDG6, which already monitors globally-agreed SDG 6 targets. It was also noted that other SDGs should be included in measuring implementation, and broadly agreed that the Water Action Agenda needs to be linked to existing platforms and intergovernmental processes. Speakers recalled there is no mandate to monitor the voluntary commitments, but they can still be leveraged to accelerate the implementation of SDG 6.

On the development of a survey, it was generally agreed that its goals and objectives should be clearly defined and explained in order to maximize its relevance and effectiveness. Since several commitment holders will be overwhelmed by current workloads and limited resources, many stressed the survey should be simple and minimal. To increase the response rate, incentives for survey responses should be clear, which could include follow-ups and assisting in network-building between like-minded actors to facilitate collaboration and coordination for achieving commitments. 

Participants also highlighted visibility and publicity of projects as important for illustrating political commitments, garnering broad support and information-sharing on efforts, and fundraising.

UN System-wide Strategy for Water and Sanitation: Joakim Harlin, UN Environment Programme (UNEP), facilitated the World Café discussions on questions including: What would be the main value of a UN system-wide strategy or action plan on water and sanitation? Who would use it and who is the target audience? How would it be produced? And would a strategy or plan support greater coherence, implementation, resources, and accountability?

In his summary of the discussions, Colin Herron, Global Water Partnership, noted a majority of participants said it would be useful to have a strategy at the head-of-agency level, providing a common vision and direction to agency efforts. Involving heads of agencies in its drafting would also ensure broad support. They suggested the strategy would need to be approved by the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination and could build on the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework with the addition of a section on means of implementation. Participants said the strategy could guide and align programmatic and budgetary decisions within UN agencies, which would also help to align donor support for SDG 6 implementation. Participants also emphasized that it should raise political attention at multiple levels, through the agencies and UN-Water and through the work of the Special Envoy on Water.

In addition to identifying who does what, participants suggested a strategy should identify gaps and ways to address them. They also discussed the trade-offs between the bindingness of such a strategy and the ability to get it approved and implemented, versus whether it could foster accountability if it is not binding. Speakers also suggested studying other UN system-wide strategies for examples and lessons learned.

Mainstreaming Water: Kristin Meyer, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), and Nicolas Franke, World Metrological Organization (WMO), co-facilitated the discussions on mainstreaming water. This session considered how UN-Water could accelerate action on recommendations from the UN 2023 Water Conference to:

  • promote convergence of intergovernmental processes and agendas and strengthen integrated policy making;
  • promote better water governance at scale and develop mechanisms for cross-sectoral coordination; and
  • carry out an “inter-COP process” to connect, integrate and fully implement water-related decisions made at global assemblies, conventions, and frameworks dedicated to climate, resilience, and the environment.

In their summary of the discussion, Meyer and Franke highlighted participants’ agreement that there is a lack of understanding of the role of water in different processes and there is limited capacity for UN-Water Members and Partners to engage with such processes. Participants noted progress will be slow and incremental and require consistent efforts and political leadership.

Proposals to overcome these challenges included providing evidence, data, and information to support negotiators and maintaining dialogues with other sectors to build understanding, trust, and achieve incremental change. Some speakers suggested identifying water champions among UN Member States. Others proposed that UN-Water Members could inform each other when submissions are requested within their organization and take other steps to facilitate insider perspectives of their own intergovernmental processes. Participants noted the value of mapping upcoming opportunities to discuss water issues. Specific actions for UN-Water to address this issue were suggested, including: UN-Water could take a stronger stance and take a more systemic approach to mainstreaming water issues, including through the development of a UN system-wide strategy and ongoing support for the chairs of the UN 2023 Water Conference interactive dialogues, to help them continue to champion the Conference’s outcomes.

Open Discussion – “What Other Actions Are Needed Following the Water Conference?”: Rachael McDonnell, International Water Management Institute, facilitated the discussions and introduced the topic, asking what is missing from the current task list for following up on the UN 2023 Water Conference and achieving the implementation of SDG 6. She highlighted the need to reach out to major initiatives and groups not represented at the Conference, such as climate mitigation and food system actors. Equally, she noted women, gender, equality and social inclusion of marginalized groups had been highlighted, but not all knowledge is treated equally in practice. In terms of engaging with other actors, she asked about the role of the private sector, and how agencies can better build relationships with science and technology for coming up with solutions.

Dani Gaillard-Picher, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), reported back on discussions, highlighting four key points that had emerged:

  • Communicate more effectively: participants highlighted a need for strategic messaging on why water is important, in order for people to identify themselves as water stakeholders and thus mobilize action for change. Better information and evidence are also needed, including examples of what does and does not work, to enable good decision-making. Governments need to listen to a broad range of voices.
  • Get out of the water bubble: participants recognized that more time and efforts need to be invested in entering diverse spaces and engaging with diverse actors, including agriculture, energy, climate and oceans, industry, technology and artificial intelligence, and finance. Such efforts should focus on finding incentives for holistic solutions that include and respond to water concerns.
  • Drill down to local realities but aim high: participants called for advanced gap analyses and studies that offer perspectives across geographic scales, with varying levels of granularity so as to understand local level impacts, threats, and potential solutions. Parallel efforts need to reach politicians at the highest level, with more work needed to understand how to convince them to include water onto their agendas.
  • Dare to be disruptive: some participants called for this in relation to working with a range of actors, including youth groups, governments, and local communities and individuals to mobilize action in ways that ensure more accountable and transparent water management, and for mobilizing action at the consumer-level. Discussions also highlighted the need for introspective reflection—how can agencies organize water sessions within UN institutions to raise the profile of water and sanitation on their agendas and ensure equitable geographic spread of meetings?

Selected Progress Updates

UN Water Development Report 2024: Abou Amani, IHP, noted that the report is on track to be launched at the UN World Water Day at UNESCO Headquarters on 22 March 2024. A translated version of the report is expected to be presented at the 10th World Water Forum in Bali in May 2024.

During discussions, several participants supported making the report interactive online to increase engagement and reach a wider audience, which some also highlighted requires more fundraising. Amani noted efforts are underway with the communications team to move forward with the digital availability of materials.

Update on Global Campaigns: Daniella Boström Couffe, UN-Water Communications Manager, noted the 2023 celebration of World Water Day was UN-Water’s most successful campaign to date and was especially effective in reaching children and youth. For 2024, she underlined that efforts would focus on campaigns to maximize the reach and impact of the 2024 World Water Development Report.

Looking to 2025, she noted the proposal to adopt “Glaciers’ Preservation” as the theme for World Water Day and to set up a Task Force to prepare for it. The Senior Programme Managers agreed to the proposal. Sulton Rahimzoda (Tajikistan) discussed his government’s initiative, approved by the UN General Assembly, to declare 2025 as the International Year of Glaciers’ Preservation and to proclaim 21 March of each year as World Day of Glaciers, beginning in 2025. 

Update on UN-Water Water and Climate Change Activities: Nicolas Franke, WMO, Sonja Koeppel, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and Stefan Dierks, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), presented recent activities on water and climate change. The discussion focused on the activities of the Expert Group on Water and Climate Change, including a workshop to consider links between water and three types of climate mitigation actions: clean energy transition, sequestration by natural ecosystems, and emissions from other measures. Franke reported that workshop participants concluded that currently available information is not sufficient to inform policy makers of the expected water volumes required to implement each measure at scale to achieve the Paris Agreement targets.

The Expert Group’s upcoming activities will include submissions to relevant UNFCCC calls for input and encouraging countries to include water in their future Nationally Determined Contributions and National Adaptation Plans. During the discussion, participants highlighted that water was recognized in the UNFCCC COP cover decision for the first time at COP 27 in 2022. Many speakers highlighted that the UNFCCC Secretariat now has three water focal points. Dierks informed participants that information about the Water-Climate Nexus Alliance within the UNFCCC Secretariat—a commitment in the Water Action Agenda focused on climate-resilient water systems—will be announced at COP 28 in Dubai. Speakers also noted there will be a thematic day focused on Food and Water and discussed plans to host side events and pavilions.

The Senior Programme Managers took note of the conclusions in the Report of the Technical Workshop on Water and Climate Change Mitigation Inter-Dependencies and asked the Expert Group to continue supporting Member States to integrate water in UNFCCC processes on mitigation and adaptation and in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) seventh assessment cycle.

Joint Publication with UN Women: Leanne Burney, UN-Water Technical Advisory Unit, introduced the publication with UN Women titled, “From Commodity to Common Good: A Feminist Agenda to Tackle the World’s Water Crisis,” which was launched during the UN High-level Political Forum in July 2023. She underlined the report is grounded in a human rights framework and calls for the full realization of women’s rights in the acceleration of SDG 6 implementation.

Proposal on a New Expert Group on Groundwater

Abou Amani, IHP, presented on efforts to establish a new expert group on groundwater. He said the group’s main purpose will be to share information without duplicating efforts, raise awareness among stakeholders, fill gaps, and inspire action. He invited Members and Partners to express interest in joining the Expert Group, which garnered much interest and support from attendees.


At the conclusion of the open session, UN-Water Chair Houngbo expressed his appreciation to UN-Water’s Partners for their contributions and support. He reported that the date and location for the 39th UN-Water Meeting are not yet decided and will be communicated in the coming weeks. He looked forward to seeing many UN-Water Partners at UNFCCC COP 28 and closed the meeting at 11:02 am.

UN-Water Members (35 as of 20 August 2023)

UN Secretariat

Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)

United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

Programmes and Funds

UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) 

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

UN Development Programme (UNDP)

UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women)

UN Environment Programme (UNEP)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

World Food Programme (WFP)

Regional Commissions

UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC)

UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA)

Specialized Agencies

Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO)

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

International Labour Organization (ILO)

International Organization for Migration (IOM)

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)

The World Bank Group (WB)

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Other Entities

UN University (UNU)

UN Related Organizations 

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)


Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

Secretariat of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

UN-Water Partners (48 as of 20 August 2023)



Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST)

Conservation International

Gender and Water Alliance (GWA)

Geneva Water Hub

Global Water Partnership (GWP)

Green Climate Fund*

Human Right 2 Water

IHE Delft

International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research (IAHR)

International Association for Water Law (AIDA)

International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH)

International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS)

International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID)

International Groundwater Centre (IGRAC)

International Hydropower Association (IHA)

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO) 

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

International Water and Sanitation Centre (IRC)

International Water Association (IWA)

International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

International Water Resources Association (IWRA)

Public Services International (PSI)

Ramsar Convention

Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN)

Sanitation and Water for All*

Sanitation and Hygiene Fund*

Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future

Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)

Toilet Board Coalition (TBC)

UN Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate (UN Global Compact)*

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)

UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Safe Drinking 

Water and Sanitation*

Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Water Integrity Network


Women for Water Partnership (WfWP)

World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

World Council of Civil Engineers (WCCE)

World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO)

World Resources Institute (WRI)

World Water Council (WWC)

World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

World Youth Parliament for Water (WYPW)

* Partner with Special Status

Further information


Negotiating blocs
African Union
European Union
Non-state coalitions