News.Jul 17, 2023

Following up on commitments – SIWI´s role at the HLPF

From 10-19 July at the UN Headquarters in New York, the 2023 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) will be formally reviewing a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG6 on clean water and sanitation.

Manuel Eckert
Programme Officer, International Policy,
Swedish Water House

The Forum falls at an essential midway point between the UN 2023 Water Conference and the upcoming SDG Summit. It is a moment to build in the ambitious change needed for achieving the 2030 Agenda. During the Forum, SIWI is sharing its knowledge on holistic water governance and its contribution to the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals.  

The HLPF plays an important role for water as it not only builds on the March UN 2023 Water Conference outcomes, but also specifically reviews progress on SDG6 at the halfway point for the 2030 Agenda. In other words, it is a decisive year for water. SIWI will directly contribute to the HLPF through several events.  

The review of SDG 6 at this year’s HLPF is a crucial opportunity for SIWI’s engagement.

First, SIWI’s Acting Executive Director, Karin Gardes, offered a non-state actor perspective as a panelist during the formal SDG6 Review. The review took place on 11 July in the UN Headquarters. Her intervention highlights the need for increased cross-sectoral cooperation to target significant progress on achieving the SDG.

The Water Action Agenda, despite concerns, is a hugely valuable mosaic of water action enabling more coordinated action and multi-stakeholder constituencies and partnerships at different levels. With over 800 commitments, the Agenda shows the desire for true transformative action.

The Water Action Agenda, therefore, needs to go beyond monitoring and evaluation and requires a set of coordination mechanisms to promote collective action. These mechanisms need to enable involved actors to self-organize, meet and converge thinking over the long-term actions towards their common goals.

Good, holistic, inclusive and gender transformative governance, political will and leadership will be the essential requirements for this shift towards continuous collective action. SIWI announced its readiness to lend its platforms for fostering political will and partnerships to benefit people and planet.

SIWI is further co-organizing the official Swedish side event at the HLPF. On 18 July, the event “Sharing experiences of managing natural resources holistically from source to sea” takes place at the Swedish Permanent Mission to the UN. The event is a follow-up on the commitments made about source-to-sea management at the UN 2023 Water Conference, particularly around implementation and on-the-ground action.

The side-event is guided by lessons learned from SIWI’s case study on “Design and Accountability for Source-to-Sea Action on Plastic” in Hoi An, Vietnam and shows the work with SDG implementation, addressing the increasing problem of plastic pollution.

The event aims to bring forth the need for holistic and systemic approaches which source-to-sea management represents. Accelerating the progress towards the 2030 Agenda will rely on addressing several SDGs simultaneously. Acceleration is needed yet lagging. Therefore, gamechangers, such as source-to-sea management, are needed to shift towards more sustainable, equitable and resilient societies.

Further contributions and pathways forward at the Forum

In addition to the abovementioned events, SIWI is also presented in two additional sessions.

SIWI at the 2023 High-Level Political Forum

To achieve the 2030 Agenda, the world needs to change gears and shift its thinking. SIWI participates in the 2023 High-Level Political Forum to share knowledge about how holistic water governance can keep the achievement of all the Sustainable Development Goals within reach.

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Wheel of all SDG, surrounding planet Earth, on top of a green canopy