International symposium “ensuring that no one is left behind in access to water”

The High-Level Symposium on SDG 6 and Targets: Ensuring that no one is left behind in access to water and sanitation organized by the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan in cooperation with UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) is scheduled to be held on 9-11 August 2016 in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The meeting will bring together government officials and policy-makers in water resources management, experts from international organizations, academic and research communities, business executives and representatives of civil society groups..

The Symposium aims to:

  •  Strengthen capacities of national and local governments to promote integrated water resource management;
  •  Share knowledge and experience in innovative practices in improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene;
  •  Increase water use efficiency;
  •  Reduce water pollution;
  •  Protect of water basins and ecosystems;
  •  Advance international cooperation and partnerships;
  •  Foster regional and multilateral cooperation;
  •  Launch specific partnerships initiatives on the implementation of SDG 6 and related targets.

The Symposium will provide a platform for deliberation of the ways of SDG 6 and its targets implementation, including a new International decade of action «Water for sustainable development” initiated by Tajikistan.

The meeting will bring together government officials, policy-makers in water resources management, experts from international organizations, academic and research communities, business executives, and representatives of civil society groups.

Building on the recent discussion in the context of the High-level Panel on Water, co-convened by the UN Secretary-General and the World Bank Group President, co-chaired by the Presidents of Mauritius and Mexico, the Symposium seeks to provide a platform for a focused and balanced discussion on policy measures, actions and means of implementation to fast-track implementation of the water SDG and related targets. The Symposium will undertake an evidence-based assessment of recent country experiences in advancing integrated water resource management, by sharing lessons learned and good practices in improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene, to increase water use efficiency, reducing water pollution, protecte water basins and ecosystems, and advance international cooperation and partnerships. Participants will also identify and discuss obstacles encountered, and explore opportunities for regional and multilateral cooperation, and partnerships. To this end, it is expected that the Symposium will also provide an occasion for announcing concrete partnership initiatives.

In adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Member States highlighted the vital importance of water and sanitation. They incorporated a standalone sustainable development goal on water – SDG 6: “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” – as part of the foundation of sustainable development. Indeed, achieving SDG 6 is essential to achieving the overall 2030 Agenda. It is universally recognized that water is life and is essential to poverty eradication, gender equality, food security, sustainable agriculture, health, sanitation, sustainable industry, sustainable consumption and production, tourism, and sustainable urbanization, among others. In order to achieve SDG 6 and its targets, an integrated approach will be required, addressing inter-linkages between water SDG and other SDGs.

In recognition of the foundation role of water, Member States further adopted 6 targets and related means of implementation:

6.1 By 2030, achieve universal and equitable access to safe affordable drinking water for all

6.2 By 2030, achieve access to, adequate and equitable, sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women, girls and those in vulnerable situations

6.3 By 2030, improve water quality by reducing pollution, eliminating dumping, minimizing release of hazardous chemicals and materials, halving the proportion of untreated wastewater, and substantially increasing recycling and safe reuse globally

6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors, ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of freshwater to address water scarcity, and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity

6.5 By 2030, implement integrated water resource management at all levels, including through transboundary cooperation as appropriate

6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers, and lakes

6.a By 2030, expand international cooperation and capacity-building support to developing countries in water- and sanitation-related activities and programmes, including water harvesting, desalination, water efficiency, wastewater treatment, recycling, and reuse technologies

6.b Support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.

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