The Water-Smart Society is part of the key takeaways from the UN Water Conference 2023


The United Nations 2023 Water Conference was held from 22 to 24 March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This significant event, marking the first UN Water Conference in a generation, was co-hosted by the governments of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Republic of Tajikistan. The organisers released the post-materials of the conference, including statements made during the Plenary Sessions, summaries of the Interactive Dialogues, Special Events, Side Events, and a Stakeholder Engagement and Impact Report of the UN 2023 Water Conference.

Water Europe’s approach is recognised in the documents and key takeaways since the Dushanbe declaration in 2022. In particular, the Summary for the UN 2023 water conference includes two recommendations from the interactive dialogue led by the European Union and China in order to re-define financial principles to make our economies water-, climate-, land- and ecosystems- smart and people-centric:

  • All sectoral investment strategies must become water-smart, especially regarding energy, backed by strategic environmental assessments and low-water footprint.
  • Investments must be mobilized in water-smart technology and water-risk resilient infrastructures, backed by a sustainable finance policy (e.g. through taxonomies and disclosure rules) and water pricing mechanisms with targeted social safeguards. We should also redirect any existing harmful subsidies.

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