High-level Opening Segment of the Geneva Water Dialogue, remarks by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD and Chair of UN-Water
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High-level Opening Segment of the Geneva Water Dialogue, remarks by Gilbert F. Houngbo, President of IFAD and Chair of UN-Water01 July 2022
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Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues,
It is my great pleasure to join you today and speak at the Geneva Water Dialogue. My only regret is that I cannot be with you in the room in Geneva.
Please, allow me to start by thanking the Permanent Missions of Egypt, the Netherlands and Tajikistan, and their partners, for organising this important event.
The Geneva Water Dialogue happens at a very timely moment. Most of the preparatory meetings that were highlighted in the UN General Assembly resolution have now taken place, including the regional preparatory meetings as well as the global consultation on the possible themes of the five interactive dialogues.
The next milestone is the one-day preparatory meeting hosted by the President of the General Assembly, in New York by November this year.
We are entering the final preparatory phase. Now, more than before, we need the mobilisation of all UN Member States and all stakeholders to make the UN 2023 Water Conference a watershed moment.
The Conference is the first UN conference on water in almost 50 years.
The ambition is high. It must be high.
We know that we are currently off track to achieve water and sanitation for all by 2030.
Billions of people are living without these human rights.
This crisis is a threat to every aspect of sustainable development.
The latest data show that we need to work, on average, four times faster to meet SDG 6.
This is why, building on the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework, the Conference co-hosts, Tajikistan and the Netherlands, are determined to launch the Water Action Agenda to capture the political momentum of the Conference and accelerate progress in the second half of the Water Action Decade and of the 2030 Agenda.
Success will be measured by what we achieve at the country level. The capacity to holistically address the other existential challenges the world is currently facing, such as climate change or the food crisis, will also be an essential ingredient to sustain implementation, strengthen national systems and achieve long-lasting results.
Today, the Geneva Water Dialogue will provide all of us with the opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other, and design the actions that will shape the Water Action Agenda.
I thank you for the opportunity to speak and I wish you fruitful discussions.