10.05.2019 - Natural Sciences Sector

The value of water on the sustainable development agenda

On 24th April, the Side Event "The Value of Water in the 2030 Agenda: Situation and challenges", was held within the framework of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development - 2019 (third meeting) in Santiago de Chile. The event was jointly organized by the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (IHP), in collaboration with the Natural Resources Division of ECLAC and the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) with the support of the IHP Chilean National Committee. The objective of this meeting was to contribute to the preparation of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) 2019 from the perspective of the key role of water and sanitation as a facilitating component to achieve the other objectives of the Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Within the framework of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development, the side event "The Value of Water in the Agenda 2030 Situation and Challenges"(Santiago, Chile, 24th April) addressed the principles of indivisibility and interconnection of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2030 Agenda is based on the interconnected and indivisible nature of its 17 SDGs. It is crucial that all entities responsible for the achievement of the SDGs address them as a whole, instead of focusing them independently. The event raised the importance of each SDG working in connection with the other objectives, goals and means of verification. In this way, the event sought to generate a space for dialogue on the importance of water in the achievement of SDG 6 and also in the other objectives of the 2030 Agenda, in particular, in those SDGs that should be subject of particular analysis at the HLPF: "empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality" that will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York, July 2019.

The opening was conducted by Mr. Oscar Cristi, General Director of Water and President of the IHP National Committee of Chile; Ms. Susset Rosales, Director of the Global Directorate of the Plan, Ministry of Economy and Planning of Cuba; Mrs. Jeannette Sánchez, Director of the Division of Natural Resources of ECLAC; Mr. Stefan Uhlenbrook, UNESCO WWAP (via videoconference); Ms. Lidia Brito, Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Mr. Carlos Estévez, UNESCO consultant, made a presentation focused on the indivisibility principle of the 2030 Agenda, which implies that the SDGs should be worked on and evaluated in an integral manner, since this logic allows meeting the challenge of global sustainable development. Likewise, Mr. Estévez presented a document (under discussion) that analyses the reciprocal relationship between SDG 6 - water and sanitation - and the other SDGs, presenting regional cases of good practices.
Mr. Miguel Doria, Regional Hydrologist of UNESCO for Latin America and the Caribbean, made a presentation on the main challenges for regional cooperation on water and its relevance in relation to the SDGs. He also moderated a round table in which participated  Mr. Roberto Pizarro, UNESCO Chair in Surface Hydrology, University of Talca, Chile; Ms. Marina Gil, Department of Water and Energy of ECLAC and Mr. Gabriel Mancilla, Director of the UNESCO Category II Center for Arid and Semi-Arid Zones, CAZALAC, who presented different approaches regarding the relevance of water to the SDGs.

Mr. Stefan Uhlenbrook, WWAP Coordinator, highlighted the importance of the High Level Political Forum preparatory process, which gives the opportunity to the regions to reflect and advocate for their priorities to achieve the SDGs. UNESCO and the UN system as a whole, he added, offer their support to the countries in their endeavors to achieve SDG 6 – a key enabler for achieving many others.

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