23/09/16Global Issues 

World Leaders Call for Action on Water

NEW YORK, September 21st, 2016 — The High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), consisting of 11 sitting Heads of State and Government and one Special Adviser, issued a Call to Action for a fundamental shift in the way the world looks at water.

The Panel aims to mobilize effective action and advocate on financing and implementation to increase access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation for all, and to improve the sustainable management of water and sanitation (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 6)), as well as to contribute to the achievement of the other SDGs that rely on the development and management of water resources. 
In a Joint Statement, the Panel, which is co-convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, recognized both the Human Rights to safe drinking Water and Sanitation, and the need for all to take responsibility for managing water better. The need for a comprehensive and coordinated approach to water, as well as increased attention and investment in water-related services, are at the heart of the Call.  The HLPW presented the Action Plan which outlines new initiatives and investments that can put the world on the path to meet the SDG6 and related targets. The Panel Members committed to lead the way and encourage other Heads of State and Government to do the same.

New Water Agenda

The panel's approach is multifaceted and seeks to relate the water issues to the rapid development of cities, human rights, social inequity, increasing number of natural disasters and declining nature.
The Call to Action invites existing networks to 'shift the needle' and establish a 'new water agenda'. The panel announced the following initiatives for immediate action:

  • To increase the attention to water in the climate action plan that will be discussed at the COP22 in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016
  • To stocktake innovative financing mechanisms, for water and sanitation services and infrastructure
  • To organise challenge events at global non-water related conferences, such as Habitat III and the World Economic Forum

In addition, the panel suggested to launch a challenge on innovative solutions for clean water and adequate sanitation for women in remote dwellings.
Another topic the HLPW wants to address, is the allocation, valuing, pricing and trading of water. It is suggested to develop a new methodology for valuing water, building on the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation.

AquaFed welcomes the initiatives from the High Level Panel on Water which aims to mobilize more and effective political support and action for the implementation of SDG6. Having contributed to the development of the SDG6, the Federation stands ready to contribute to the new global conversation on valuing the water needs, recognizing the need for better water governance and more finance for sustainable water services.

Press Release (pdf)
Joint Statement of the High Level Panel on Water (pdf)
More information: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/HLPWater 


The High Level Panel on Water, co-convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, was launched in April 2016. Its current membership is as follows:
-    H.E. Mrs. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius (Co-Chair)
-    H.E. Mr. Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico (Co-Chair)
-    H.E. Mr. Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia
-    H.E.Ms. Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh
-    H.E. Mr. János Áder, President of Hungary
-    H.E. Mr. Hani Al-Mulki, Prime Minister of Jordan
-    H.E. Mr. Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands
-    H.E. Mr. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Godard, President of Peru
-    H.E. Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa
-    H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal
-    H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of Tajikistan
-    H.E. Special Adviser, Dr. Han Seung-soo, Former Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea