24.04.2019 - UNESCO Office in Nairobi

Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality – Building on the interlinkages between Water and Sanitation and the SDGs under review at the HLPF 2019

Report of side event at Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 16 April 2019, Marrakech, Morocco.

The SDG 6 Synthesis Report was launched in 2018 to inform the discussion of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development on state of SDG 6 at global and regional scale. Building on that, the review project intends to inform decision makers on the importance of water for the achievement of the SDGs under review in HLPF 2019 with the theme ‘Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality’, namely SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), in addition to SDG 17 (partnerships). There are strong interlinkages between these SDGs and water and understanding them is of particular importance for priority setting and policy coherence and effectiveness at regional and national scale.

This Side Event was organised jointly by UNESCO-World Water Assessment Programme, UN Economic Commission for Africa, UN-Water, the UNESCO Regional Office for Africa. Speakers and participants are from African Member States, key private sector organizations and civil society organizations attending the ARFSD.

The main objectives of this Side Event are to:

· Ensure that water aspects are taken into account at the regional meetings with countries and at the HLPF 2019 (Regional Commission Meetings on the High-Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development in New York, July 2019);

· Facilitate discussion about water and interlinkages during the preparatory meeting to the HLPF 2019; and

· Disseminate concrete examples of how to better integrate SDGs in policy and practice, focusing on SDG 6 and other SDGs reviewed in 2019.

The Side Event contributed to increase the understanding of African Policy makers on the role water plays in achieving the SDGs under review by the HLPF 2019. Draft key messages and policy recommendations to better take water into account when implementing each Goal under review. This knowledge is expected to be transferred to countries during the preparatory meetings for the HLPF and in a dedicated side-event during which the findings will be discussed. Collaboration with the Regional Economic Commissions and the Regional Forums on Sustainable Development is crucial to ensure synergies with processes in the region and achieve impact at country level.

Summary Outcome from the side event:

The Side Event was organized to build upon the global Synthesis Report on SDG 6 (UN, 2018) which is a UN-Water report that was coordinated by UNESCO WWAP and benefitted by contributions from 13 UN Agencies and many others international organizations. Specifically, it was held to deliberate on the African Regional Policy paper on SDG 6 inter-linkages by the delegates and institutional representatives at the 5th African Regional Forum on Sustainable Development. The focus was on the Inter-linkages of SDG 6 (Water) with the SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions), in addition to SDG 17 (partnerships). There are strong interlinkages between these SDGs and water and understanding them is of particular importance for priority setting and policy coherence and effectiveness at regional and national scale. Integrated approaches that consider many – ideally all – dimensions of sustainable development need to be implemented in practice. Water is an important enabler to make progress in many other SDGs of the 2030 Agenda as well as in the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the Agenda 2063. This was also clearly highlighted in two strong case studies from Ethiopia and Uganda. A case study on rainwater harvesting showcased one practical solution to cope with increasing water scarcity and improve water access for all. The Side-Event was organized by WWAP, UNECA, the UNESCO Regional Office for Africa and UN Water.

Key Outcome

Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education is not possible without access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene in schools. Therefore, policy makers should ensure that no schools are established without safe water and sanitation services with regular maintenance funding as part of its recurrent budget, and hygiene should be (re-)introduced as a compulsory and practical subject from pre-school onwards.

Click here for the Regional Policy Document Africa for HLPF2019.

UNECA Link:

https://www.uneca.org/stories/water-and-sanitation-interlinkages-sdgs-under-review-hlpf-2019




<- Back to: UNESCO Office in Nairobi
Back to top