The UN 2023 Water Conference was held at the UN Headquarters in New York from March 22-24, 2023, to accelerate action to address the water crisis and equitable access to water for all. The last UN Water Conference was held in 1977 in Argentina over 45 years ago.
Happening just after the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, over 10,000 people attended the hybrid event from around the world. World leaders, civil society, business leaders, young people, scientists, academics, the UN System, and others from across sectors of agriculture, energy, environment and water came together for a common goal: to discuss ways to tackle the water crisis and set the world back on track to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6 (On Clean Water and Sanitation). There were round table dialogues where participants shared and discussed proposals for potential game changers for the Water Action Agenda based on: capacity development, governance, data and information, financing and innovation.
Csaba Korosi, President of General assembly said game changers are: “a method, an approach a cooperation strategy, capacity development activity, or agreement that will transform the way we think, do business, plan and implement policies, or govern at local, regional and global levels. A game changer is catalyser to becoming more resilient to water, climate, food and energy crises, as well as to economic, ecological, social and political changes. Ultimately, the goal is the enhancement of cooperation to leverage benefits across actors, sectors and scales, and serves as means for sustainable development.”
Together with other Catholic NGOs and Religious Congregations, we co-hosted “Scoping Solidarity” consisting of two in-person events:
- Scoping Societal Dialogue: a process of storytelling, designed to generate transformative commitments for water action with people from around the world. We heard from First Nations people, scientists and policy makers. Afterwards we went into groups to share our local experiences, solutions and commitments for water action.
- Screening of “The Letter,” a film produced by Laudato Si Movement featuring Pope Francis with five leaders from around the world, representing the populations most affected by climate change: Indigenous people, youth, the poor and creation/biodiversity. The film was followed by group dialogue on care for the planet.
The key outcome of the Conference is the Water Action Agenda with over 700 commitments aimed at driving transformation from a global water crisis to a water-secure world. The UN Secretary-General António Guterres said at the closing ceremony that “The commitments at this Conference will propel humanity towards the water-secure future every person on the planet needs.” To read more about the Water Conference, click HERE.
Each of our Provinces/Regions made a Laudato Si Action Plan, we encourage you to register your commitment, pledge and action that will accelerate the implementation and improve impact towards achieving SDG 6 (Safe Water) and other water-related goals. For more information and to register your Province/Region’s commitment, see HERE.