Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the UN and her Tajik co-moderator partner conducted a working level dialogue on improving the integration and coordination of the work of the United Nations on the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets on World Water Day, 22 March.
Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the UN and Mr. Lukmon Isomatov, Head of Department for External Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan were appointed by H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson the President of the General Assembly on the basis of the General Assembly resolution 71/222 on the “International Decade for Action, Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028” to co-moderate a working-level dialogue about improving the integration and coordination of the work of the UN on the water-related goals and targets under the sustainable development pillar, with particular emphasis on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and a subsequent working level dialogue to take stock of the discussions at the first dialogue and exchange views on possible next steps.
The high level opening segment of the dialogue on 22 March featured besides the President of the General Assembly, Mr. Aslov Sirodjidin Muhridinovich, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, Ambassador Bogyay, Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the UN (to read the full speech, please click here) and Dr. Han Seung-soo, UN Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water and Chair of the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters. Co-founders of Water.org Matt Damon and Gary White have sent a video message to the participants that was played in the Trusteeship Council Chamber.
The first panel tackled the implementation of water related SDGs by addressing challenges and seizing opportunities through strengthening cooperation and partnerships with speakers Ms. Lesha Witmer from Women for Water Partnership, Mr. Roberto Lenton from the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at University of Nebraska and Mr. Zafar Adeel, Executive Director of the Pacific Water Research Centre.
The second panel discussed the role of the UN system in improving the integration and coordination to support the Member States and other relevant stakeholders in the implementation and follow-up of water related SDGs with Ms. Sanjaasuren Oyuun, Chair of the Global Water Partnership and previous Minister of Environment of Mongolia, Mr. Bai-Mass Taal, Former Executive Secretary of the African Minister Council on Water and Ms. Cecilia Scharp, Senior Advisor on Water and Environment from UNICEF.
The rich interventions by Member States and stakeholders including from the UN family, partnerships like Water and Sanitation for All and the representatives from the Private Sector via the World Water Council voiced unanimous support to the preservation of water resources as a contribution to present and future sustainability.
The debate identified the management of freshwater resources shared among sectors as well as surface and groundwater shared between communities and countries to remain a major challenge, which will require enhancing cooperation. An important number of Member States shared their view that developing the structures related to water architecture carries the potential of paving the way for improving the integration and coordination of the work of the UN on the water-related SDG goals and targets.
The outcome of the day will be a summary by the co-moderators that will serve as basis for discussions at the second dialogue later during this semester.