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  • Writer's picturePeter Yolles

Highlights from the United Nations 2023 Water Conference

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

United Nations hosted the 2023 Water Conference in New York March 22-26. ERC companies that attended included Epic Cleantec, Gybe, Watergenics and Waterplan. Here's a roundup of what went down. (I was traveling in Israel during the conference and will report on that trip in another post.)

  • Over 7,000 participants descended on New York for official events and hundreds of side events.

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered poignant compelling remarks to open the conference. I urge everyone to read this short statement that includes the following: "Water is humanity’s lifeblood, from the food we eat to the ecosystems and biodiversity that enrich our world to the prosperity that sustains nations, to the economic engines of agriculture, manufacturing and energy generation to our health, hygiene and survival itself....But, we’ve broken the water cycle, destroyed ecosystems and contaminated groundwater."

  • To address the water crisis, the UN participants developed a Water Action Agenda that includes over 700 commitments from stakeholders from around the world including governments, corporates, indigenous peoples and NGOs. "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." The platform can be viewed here.

  • Water "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."

  • LA Times summarized major themes in this excellent piece: "Amid conflicts and climate change, U.N. puts focus on 'deep trouble' in water worldwide."


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