New York, 25 March 2023 (TDI): The UN 2023 Water Conference closed on Friday with the adoption of the Water Action Agenda, a “milestone” action plan containing almost 700 commitments to protect “humanity’s most precious global common good”.

At the conference, the agenda sets out a series of action-oriented game-changing commitments, from making smarter food choices to re-evaluating water as a powerful economic driver, and part of the Earth’s cultural heritage.

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In addition, the conference, and its 2,000 participants, forged an “ambitious vision”, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said.

“The dedication to action and transformation is propelling us towards a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive water-secure future for people and planet alike.”

Moreover, he said, “This conference demonstrated a central truth: as humanity’s most precious global common good, water unites us all, and it flows across a number of global challenges.”

Additionally, from protecting against the spread of disease to fighting poverty, the natural resource also flows through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at a time when the world is grappling with climate change, water scarcity, and pollution.

“Further, the need for water due to being at the center of the global political agenda,” he said. “All of humanity’s hopes for the future depend, in some way, on charting a new science-based course to bring the Water Action Agenda to life.”

Future Steps

The Secretary-General pledged UN support “every step of the way”, as Member States take action through the second half of the Water Action Decade.

Guterres believed that without water, there would be no sustainable development. Also, he emphasized that in this historic conference, let’s re-commit to our common future. Let’s take the next steps in our journey to a water-secure future for all.”