Momentum in China gathers ahead of UN 2023 Water Conference
09 February 2023
Overview of main messages during Joint Briefing on the UN 2023 Water Conference
BEIJING, China, 9 February 2023 – The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the United Nations (UN) in China co-hosted a Joint Briefing on the UN 2023 Water Conference, with over 130 people from national and international organizations in China, diplomatic missions in Beijing, and press outlets attending the event in person at the UN Compound and online.
The UN General Assembly, with support from the Governments of the Netherlands and Tajikistan, will convene the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York from 22 to 24 March 2023. The Conference, the most important water event in a generation, aims to raise awareness of the global water crisis and decide on concerted action to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, as emphasized with Chinese authorities during the recent visit of the President of the UN General Assembly, Csaba Kőrösi to China.
As noted during the Joint Briefing, with many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) off track, progress on Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) is key to the achievement of other SDGs, particularly on health, food, gender equality, education, livelihoods, industry, climate and the environment. Thus, the Joint Briefing sought to galvanize local momentum on the need for accelerating water action for a sustainable future and better inform preparations for the upcoming Conference.
“The 2023 UN Water Conference is the highest profile and most influential water related thematic conference at the UN level in the past 50 years, which has attracted great response and widespread attention globally. It is a conference of milestone significance, and will anchor the direction and clarify the path for accelerating the achievement of the water related goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. China will send a high-level representative to lead a delegation to participate in the conference and actively fulfil its role as co-chair of the interactive dialogue "Water for Sustainable Development". China is ready to work with all parties to find transformative measures and make due contributions to solve the water crisis faced by all humankind by promoting the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,” said Tian Xuebin, Vice Minister, Ministry of Water Resources of the People’s Republic of China, who delivered remarks at the Joint Briefing as the Guest of Honour.
Following remarks in the opening session from the Ambassadors of the Netherlands and Tajikistan, and the UN Resident Coordinator, audience members were invited to ask questions of the speakers on the significance of the upcoming Conference.
“Since water and its challenges touch upon so much more than water experts alone can cover, we must gather everyone committed to real and meaningful Water Action,” said Wim Geerts, Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“I believe that one of the important outcomes of the UN Conference will be on the Agenda for Action in the field of water resources adopted within the framework of the Dushanbe Water Conference, which involves four times to an upsurge our efforts and actions to achieve the SDGs and other goals related to water problems. Only by joint efforts, we will be able to make the Conference a watershed moment for the whole world,” said Saidzoda Ozod, Ambassador of the Republic of Tajikistan in the People's Republic of China.
During the Joint Briefing, a panel discussion on water issues occurred in which high-level speakers and a youth advocate shared views on the significance of the Conference, best practices from different countries, youth perspectives and actions on water and climate change and the way ahead for enhanced collaboration in this area.
The Joint Briefing follows a series of similar events facilitated by the UN in China to engage with all Member States present in Beijing to seek their guidance and support on shared priorities, with journalists also present to cover the occasion.
“As expressed by today’s speakers, water is not only essential for all forms of life, but the most basic of human rights. Water is everyone’s business…I look forward to seeing pragmatic and concrete pledges, commitments, and actions coming out of the event that allows us to ensure a water secure world, for all, by all,” said Siddharth Chatterjee, UN Resident Coordinator in China.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the UN in China thank those in attendance for their participation at the Joint Briefing and look forward to outcomes from the upcoming Conference.
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