UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution on International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028

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United Nations,   
General Assembly,
Seventy-first session,
Agenda item 19 (a)

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Lithuania, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe: draft resolution

International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028

The General Assembly,
Recalling its resolutions 47/193 of 22 December 1992 on the observance of World Day for Water, 55/196 of 20 December 2000, by which it proclaimed 2003 the International Year of Freshwater, 58/217 of 23 December 2003, by which it proclaimed the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, 61/192 of 20 December 2006, by which it proclaimed 2008 the International Year of Sanitation, 65/154 of 20 December 2010, by which it proclaimed 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation, and 67/204 of 21 December 2012 on the implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013,

Recalling also its resolutions 64/198 of 21 December 2009 on the midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, and 69/215 of 19 December 2014, in which it welcomed activities undertaken for the observance of the Decade and encouraged relevant parties to continue to take steps to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals,

Recalling further its resolutions 68/157 of 18 December 2013 on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation and 70/169 of 17 December 2015 on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, and the relevant resolutions of the Human Rights Council, including resolutions 24/18 of 27 September 2013 and 27/7 of 25 September 2014,

Recalling Economic and Social Council resolutions 1980/67 of 25 July 1980 on international years and anniversaries and 1989/84 of 24 May 1989 on guidelines for international decades in economic and social fields and General Assembly resolutions 53/199 of 15 December 1998 and 61/185 of 20 December 2006 on the proclamation of international years,

Recalling also its resolutions 70/1 of 25 September 2015, entitled “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, and 70/299 of 29 July 2016 on follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the global level,

Reaffirming the sustainable development goals and targets, including those related to water resources, contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and determined to achieve the goal of ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all and other related goals and targets,

Recalling the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which highlighted the commitment to the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015,

Reaffirming that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and that the full implementation of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda is critical for the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets,

Emphasizing that water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, that water, energy, food security and nutrition are linked and that water is indispensable for human development, health and well-being and a vital element of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and other relevant goals in the social, environmental and economic fields,

Deeply concerned that lack of access to a safe drinking water source, basic sanitation and sound hygiene, water-related disasters, water scarcity and water pollution will be further exacerbated by urbanization, population growth, desertification, drought and other extreme weather events and climate change, as well as by the lack of capacity to ensure integrated water resource management,

Concerned with the slow progress in advocating for, and addressing existing gaps in, gender mainstreaming and the empowerment of women that hamper the achievement of sustainable development goals and targets,

Concerned also that many water-related ecosystems are threatened by poor management and unsustainable development and face increased uncertainty and risks due to climate change and other factors,

Recalling that the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, among other things, seeks to develop and implement holistic disaster risk management at all levels in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030,

Acknowledging the importance of deepening cooperation and partnership at all levels for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals on water and sanitation,

Recognizing that water-related issues, including relevant Sustainable Development Goals and targets, need to be better reflected in the agendas of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council,

Noting national, regional and global efforts and partnership initiatives to implement the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, the numerous recommendations from global and regional water and water-related events and the water-related Sustainable Development Goals and targets contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,

Noting also the establishment of the High-level Panel on Water by the Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank, and looking forward to its work,

Noting further the United Nations World Water Development Report, a joint project of United Nations agencies and entities, in particular the edition entitled Water for a Sustainable World, the report of the annual international conference of UN-Water held in Zaragoza, Spain, in 2015, on the theme “Water and sustainable development: from vision to action”, UN-Water advice on means of implementation of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals and the work of the Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation,

Recognizing the important role of relevant initiatives and multi-stakeholder partnerships in building political support and encouraging investment in water and sanitation,

Noting the outcomes and the Ministerial Declaration of the seventh World Water Forum, held in Daegu and Gyeongbuk, Republic of Korea, from 12 to 17April 2015,

Noting also the outcomes of the high-level interactive dialogue at the sixty-ninth session of the General Assembly, held on 30 March 2015,

Noting further the Declaration of the High-level International Conference on the Implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, held in Dushanbe on 9 and 10 June 2015, and the call for action of the high-level symposium on the theme “Sustainable Development Goal 6 and targets: ensuring that no one is left behind in access to water and sanitation”, held in Dushanbe on 9 and 10 August 2016,

1.    Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General on the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, and further efforts to achieve the sustainable development of water resources;

2.    Welcomes the activities related to water undertaken by Member States, the United Nations Secretariat and organizations of the United Nations system, inter alia, through inter-agency work, as well as contributions from major groups, for the observance of the International Year of Sanitation, 2008, the International Year of Water Cooperation, 2013, and the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015;

3.    Proclaims the period from 2018 to 2028 the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, to commence on World Water Day, 22 March 2018, and terminate on World Water Day, 22 March 2028;

4.    Decides that the objectives of the Decade should be a greater focus on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives and on the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects, as well as on the furtherance of cooperation and partnership at all levels in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

5.    Highlights the importance of promoting efficient water usage at all levels, taking into account the water, food, energy, environment nexus, including in the implementation of national development programmes;

6.    Decides that these objectives should be pursued, inter alia, by improving knowledge generation and dissemination, facilitating access to knowledge and exchange of good practices, generating new information relevant to the water-related Sustainable Development Goals, pursuing advocacy, networking and promoting partnership and action by different actors to implement the water-related Goals and targets in coordination with existing initiatives and strengthening communication actions at various levels for the implementation of the water-related Goals;

7.    Stresses the importance of the participation and full involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including women, children, young people, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities, in the implementation of the Decade at all levels;

8.    Invites the Secretary-General, with the support of UN-Water, to take appropriate steps, within existing resources, to plan and organize the activities of the Decade at the global, regional and country levels, taking into account the outcomes of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, and the work of the high-level political forum on sustainable development and other relevant United Nations structures, as well as the High-level Panel on Water;

9.    Emphasizes the need for further steps to accelerate and sustain action towards the mobilization of means of implementation, and encourages the development, dissemination, diffusion and transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed, and for the stepping up of international cooperation and collaboration in science, research and innovation for the sustainable development of water resources at the local, national and regional levels, including through public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships, and on the basis of common interest and mutual benefit;

10.    Encourages the Secretary-General to continue efforts to promote the mobilization of financial resources and technical assistance and to strengthen the effectiveness and the full utilization of existing international funds for the effective implementation of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals and targets;

11.    Requests the Secretary-General, with the support of UN-Water, the specialized agencies, the regional commissions and other entities of the United Nations system, mindful of the provisions contained in the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1989/84, to facilitate the implementation of the Decade in cooperation with Governments and other relevant stakeholders;

12.    Requests the President of the General Assembly to convene, during the seventy-first session, a working-level dialogue to discuss improving the integration and coordination of the work of the United Nations on the water-related goals and targets under its sustainable development pillar, with a particular emphasis on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while preserving its integrated and indivisible nature, and a subsequent working-level dialogue to take stock of the discussions at the first dialogue and to exchange views on the relevance of possible next steps, and in this regard:

(a)    Decides that the dialogues shall be ad hoc, informal, inclusive, open-ended and interactive, with the participation of countries, relevant regional and international organizations, relevant United Nations system entities, UN-Water and other relevant stakeholders;

(b)    Invites the President of the General Assembly to appoint two
co-moderators for the dialogues, one from a developed country and one from a developing country, who will also prepare the informal summary of the dialogues;

(c)    Also invites the President of the General Assembly to prepare a concept note for the dialogues, in collaboration with the co-moderators, taking into consideration relevant work and processes and avoiding duplication;

13.    Decides, in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1989/84, to review the implementation of the Decade at its seventy-seventh session, and in this regard also decides to consider, at its seventy-third session, the future arrangements for a midterm comprehensive review of the Decade;

14.    Encourages Member States, relevant United Nations bodies, the specialized agencies, the regional commissions and other organizations of the United Nations system, as well as other relevant partners, including the private sector, to contribute to the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028, building on the momentum gained during the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life”, 2005-2015, in order to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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