Stockholm, 25 August 2023(TDI): The global community converged at the World Water Week 2023 in Stockholm this week to address pressing water-related challenges and explore potential solutions.
Among the attendees was Meike van Ginneken, the Netherlands’ newly appointed Special Envoy for Water, who emphasized the imperative for a paradigm shift in water management strategies.
This week, new Dutch Special Envoy for Water @MeikeVanGin attended the #WorldWaterWeek2023 to discuss water-related problems and potential solutions. 'The way we deal with water needs to change fundamentally'. 💧
— Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇳🇱 (@DutchMFA) August 25, 2023
World Water Week has been an annual gathering since 1991, drawing policymakers, scientists, entrepreneurs, activists, and young leaders from around the world.
This year, the event tackled a spectrum of water-related issues and aimed to foster collaborative approaches to solving them.
Notable participants included representatives from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and Meike van Ginneken, the successor to Henk Ovink as the Netherlands’ Special Envoy for Water.
With more than 25 years of experience in water, climate, energy, and food sectors, Meike van Ginneken’s role as Special Envoy for Water will focus on advancing the Netherlands’ water goals and enhancing the nation’s global standing for expertise in this domain.
The discussions at World Water Week build on agreements from the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York earlier this year.
The Netherlands co-hosted this conference with Tajikistan to elevate the global priority of water issues.
Reflecting on these developments, van Ginneken stressed, “In New York, the world agreed on the Water Action Agenda. Now it’s time to take action and get on with implementing the agenda.”
The Water Action Agenda encompasses over 800 commitments and pledges to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 – ensuring universal access to clean water and sanitation. Van Ginneken underscored the urgency for transformative change in water management, stating, “The way we deal with water needs to change fundamentally.
The global water cycle is out of balance. We use far too much water, there is too much pollution, and there are frequent shortages.”
She further highlighted that addressing the water crisis is essential to addressing broader challenges like climate change and food security, especially in vulnerable communities.
During her participation at World Water Week, van Ginneken emphasized the Netherlands’ standing as a global leader in water management.
“Dutch water authorities and drinking-water companies provide a wealth of expertise,” she explained, “while these systems may not be directly replicable, they can certainly serve as sources of inspiration.”
Reflecting on progress made in water management, van Ginneken acknowledged significant achievements such as reduced child mortality due to improved water quality and increased access to clean drinking water.
However, she advocated for sustained efforts to further enhance water security.