It is my pleasure to welcome you to the Second High-Level International Conference on the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, held from 6 to 9 June 2022 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, under the theme “Catalyzing water action and partnership at the local, national, regional and global levels”.
Worldwide, pressure on water resources is rising, while actions for their sustainable management and use are lagging.
Meeting the water needs of the world’s growing population is key for sustainable development in all its dimensions – economic, social and environmental. We must address water-intensive consumption patterns, as well as increasing precipitation variability and water pollution. Furthermore, climate change is exacerbating extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts, which impose huge social and economic costs around the world.
Over the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has recognized the critical importance of water and sanitation. Hand washing has emerged as a major means of protection from infectious diseases.
Yet, statistics show that 1 out of 3 people still lack handwashing facilities at home and billions more still do not have access to safe drinking water and sanitation.
Despite efforts made, the world is off track to meet Sustainable Development Goal 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” by 2030 and other internationally agreed water-related goals. Therefore, it is imperative that we accelerate our efforts towards the accomplishment of these water-related goals.
We must urgently address these challenges together, implementing programmes and projects on integrated and sustainable management of water and sanitation.
Commitment and cooperation at all levels are essential for mobilizing resources, capacity-building and technology transfer.
The Second Dushanbe Conference provides a timely opportunity to focus on catalyzing water actions and partnerships to contribute to the achievement of water-related goals and targets at the global, regional and national levels. Also, the Conference will serve as an important meeting to enhance preparations for the United Nations 2023 Water Conference, to be convened from 22 to 24 March 2023 in New York.
The Dushanbe Conference will address the critical interlinkages between water and climate change, health, food, energy, industry and the environment, and promote respective science-based solutions and tools.
Furthermore, participants will have an opportunity to showcase successful actions and innovative partnerships within the Water Action Decade.
I encourage everyone to present ideas for strengthening cooperation at different levels that will accelerate implementation on the ground.
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs is pleased to partner with Tajikistan in the organization of the Dushanbe Conference and stands ready to support countries and stakeholders in their efforts to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
I look forward to welcoming you in Dushanbe and wish you all a fruitful Conference.
for Economic and Social Affairs