The development of life on Planet Earth depends largely on a natural resource: Water. And this element is particularly taken into account by Sustainable Development Goals as a driver to healthy and liveable conditions for all living beings. The first edition of the UN Water Conference, held in New York from the 22nd until the 24th March 2023, reaffirmed its bond with the social, cultural, economic and political ecosystem of values. As a matter of fact, two billion people do not access to safe drinking water sources and 3.6 billion people lack of basic sanitation devices. In some geographical areas water is wasted and polluted seriously while we face an increasing desertification in other territories.
Csaba Kőrösi, President of the General Assembly, proposed a new panel focused on this precious element, forty years after the first event on this vital issue. Member States, scientists, civil society and private sector responded to the call for acting concretely. Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General pointed out that an effective synergy of global actions will lead human beings « on the path to a future where water security will be assured for each and every one of us ». About 700 concrete commitments are therefore planned by 2030 to accelerate progress to a global access to clean water and hygiene under the Water Action Programme. The value of Water has to be enhanced to assure a more sustainable approach in its management as underlined by H.E. Isabelle Picco, Ambassador at the Permanent Representative of the Principality of Monaco to the United Nations.
The Ambassador recalled the Prince's Government commitment to make water consumption more efficient while reducing by 26% its use in the Principality as the result of specific investments aimed at installing high-performance and quality infrastructures including the Wastewater Treatment Plant (UTER), serving Monaco and the neighbouring French municipalities. The Permanent Representative praised also the international role played by the Principality through relevant cooperation and development actions to facilitate the access to clean water and sanitation, including the engagement of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to safeguarding freshwater ecosystems.
The Principality of Monaco co-hosted three major events within the Conference with the aim to showcase on-site water solutions provided daily by well-established organisations.
In particular, four young women could present their direct experience to limit water-related climate impacts in the Bahamas, in Uganda, in Kenya and in Ecuador. Sharing ideas and best practices were the common thread of this event in partnership with Girl Rising association and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Five panelists from civil society were also able to discuss solutions to strengthen the links between field actions and decision makers within a high-level meeting sponsored by the Peace Innovation Initiative, the University for Peace and the Mission of Costa Rica.
Finally, a networking event in partnership with the Coalition for the UN We Need, chaired by Maria Fernanda Espinosa, former President of UN General Assembly, brought together sixty young representatives of civil society to discuss the cornerstones of the UN Conference. ***
By Maurice Abbati
Springer International Publishing