On 22 March 2018, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) released its Action Plan on Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028). It aims to promote integrated management of water resources and create a platform for building partnership, sharing sound practices, providing advocacy at all levels. The Action Plan has three objectives:
• Transforming the current silo-based approach to water supply, sanitation, water management and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in to an integrated one;
• Aligning existing water and sanitation programs and projects with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
• Generating the political will for strengthened cooperation and partnerships.
The Action plan will also support the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 and the Paris Agreement on climate change. It requires further steps and work at different level and from various aspects. Water-related investments and innovations need to be increased, and efforts at national level and international level are necessary. National governments need to set water and sanitation as priorities in their budgets and policies. Cooperation on water management and DRR needs to be done among different stakeholders. During the ensuing plenary, ministers or representatives from different countries expressed and emphasized their views toward water management and DRR. They recognized the important role of water in relations between states and communities.
They call for the following efforts to address water-related issues:
• The need for investments in infrastructure projects for the effective water management in developing countries;
• The need for increasing support, partnerships, cooperation, assistance on water issues at all levels (e.g. official development assistance, regional and international cooperation, involvement of private sector through public-private partnerships);
• The need for advancing effective management of shared water resources
• The need for capacity building support for date collection
• The need for including water specialists in UN Peacekeeping operation • The need for integrating the gender-related aspects in water planning and management and encouraging citizens’ participatory, especially recognizing the important role of women in water management.