The 33rd UN-Water Meeting offered a brief chance for the Members, Partners, and observers of this UN interagency coordination mechanism to discuss the role of water and sanitation in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic and to receive updates on upcoming opportunities to engage at the global level to build momentum for implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) on clean water and sanitation.
This meeting was originally scheduled to take place in August in Stockholm, Sweden, but was postponed, shortened, and moved online due to the pandemic. During the 90-minute open session on Tuesday, 29 September 2020, speakers reminded the over 130 participants that coordination on water and sanitation issues is more important than ever and called attention to the high-level of interest in several UN-Water initiatives.
Of particular focus was the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, which was launched in July by UN-Water with the participation of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres and 11 UN agency heads. An additional area of discussion was the UN-Water “offer,” which identifies ways that UN-Water Members and Partners can help support UN country teams through the UN resident coordinator system. Eight country teams have responded to the offer and they will now be part of the pilot phase. Participants were also updated on preparations for high-level events at the UN on water and sanitation issues in 2021 and 2023.
During the closed meeting for UN-Water Members on Wednesday, 30 September 2020, the International Telecommunication Union was welcomed as a new Member and it was agreed that the 34th UN-Water meeting would convene virtually from 16-17 March 2021.