By: Chabelis Leal
New York, New York- PVBLIC Foundation participated in the United Nations 2023 Water Conference in New York City from March 22nd to March 24th. PVBLIC co-hosted the SDG Media Zone in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Global Communications. This event was held to raise awareness of the global water crisis and decide on concerted actions to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets.
Water is essential for human development, health, and wellbeing, but billions of people worldwide still live without safely managed drinking water and sanitation. The UN 2023 Water Conference aimed to address this issue and focused on the transformation and solutions needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. The SDG Media Zone featured various sessions with high-level speakers from around the world discussing how the global community is accelerating progress towards this goal.
The SDG Media Zone opened with a pre-recorded interview with the co-founders of water.org, Matt Damon and Gary White, moderated by UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Melissa Fleming. The speakers addressed the global water crisis, gaps, and challenges. Another session discussed the ambitious agenda of the conference and the opportunity it presents to change the course of the global water crisis. Speakers in this session included Kitty van der Heijden, Vice-Minister for International Development Cooperation, Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Mr.Jamshed Shoimzoda, First Deputy Minister of energy and water resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, moderated by Nanette Braun, Conference Spokesperson.
One of the notable speakers was Mina Guli, a world-renowned water campaigner who just completed 200 marathons in one year for water. Guli's extraordinary journey took her to 32 countries where she met people on the frontlines of the water crisis and witnessed the damage humans have done to our rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Guli spoke about the Run Blue campaign, which is driving change by encouraging people to run for water and encouraging companies to prioritize water. The session also featured Matthias Berninger, Bayer's Senior Vice President Public Affairs, Science & Sustainability, and was moderated by Maher Nasser, Director of Outreach Division, UN Department of Global Communications.
The conference was attended by leaders from various countries, UN agencies, civil society organizations, and the private sector. The discussions at the conference focused on three main themes: water and climate change, water and sustainable development, and water governance.
One of the key outcomes of the conference was the recognition that water is essential for achieving sustainable development. The conference emphasized the need to integrate water management into all aspects of sustainable development, including poverty reduction, food security, health, education, and gender equality.
The conference also recognized the significant impact of climate change on water resources. The discussions highlighted the need for adaptation measures to manage the effects of climate change on water availability, quality, and distribution. The conference called for increased investment in climate-resilient water infrastructure and for the integration of climate considerations into water management strategies.
Overall, the United Nations 2023 Water Conference was a significant step towards achieving sustainable water management and addressing the global water crisis. The SDG Media Zone highlighted the need for urgent action and called for increased investment, cooperation, and coordination between different stakeholders. By working together, we can ensure that everyone has access to safe and sustainable water resources, and that we can build a more resilient and sustainable future for all.