SIWI at the High-Level Political Forum

Water is key to the success of all 17 SDGs that aim to transform our world into the future we want. At this year’s High-Level Political Forum, SIWI is working to raise the profile of water, not only within the context of achieving SDG 6, but also its importance in reaching all 17 goals. 

When looking for solutions, one goal cannot be tackled without taking into consideration how the others are affected. SIWI is working to connect the dots. 

About HLPF:

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the annual stocktaking on the state of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs. It is also the meeting place for UN member states to present voluntary national reports on their SDG implementation.

High on this year’s agenda is SDG 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. In preparation, UNESCO’s World Water Assessment Programme has relseased a SDG 6 synthesis report that comes to one key conclusion: The world is not on track. Read more here >>

SIWI’s role at HLPF:

The world’s delay in reaching its targets for SDG 6 and the insight that basically all SDGs are linked to water, are the starting points for SIWI’s engagement at HLPF and our work with the 2030 Agenda in general.

For example the other SDGs on this year’s agenda, SDG 7 on Energy, SDG 11 on cities, SDG 12 on sustainable production and consumption, SDG 15 on land ecosystems and SDG 17 on global cooperation have obvious effects on water and are themselves dependent on water. Read more about these connections in our latest policy brief, Water: the path to Agenda 2030 implementation.

SIWI’s events at HLPF: 

SIWI will strive to gather momentum around partnerships and collaboration in relation to water’s interconnecting role. In doing so we will point out the importance of water as a bridging factor between the global agendas, such as the Paris Agreement; present how a source-to-sea approach to water governance can help implement the SDGs; and co-host a dialogue between faith based communities and the development and water sectors on achieving SDG 6.

For details on SIWI’s events and how you can attend them download our complete event schedule.

SIWI has released a policy brief sharing our view on the status of SDGs 6, 7, 11 ,12, 15 and 17 from a water perspective and offers policy recommendations to reach the goals in a water wise way.
  • Be transparent! Good water governance is key to achieving all SDGs and requires effective and accountable institutions.
  • Invest in sanitation and human health to fight poverty. Such investments pay for themselves four times over. The current trend of declining international development support must be reversed.
  • Involve disadvantaged groups in decision-making processes. As competition for scarce resources grow fiercer, a human-rights based approach is vital. The ethical implications of the growing water challenges must be discussed, with the role of governance as a central part of the solution.
  • Implement resilience and source-to-sea approaches in both urban and rural planning. Cities can serve as a lab of what countries can do regarding water management.
  • Protect essential water-related ecosystems from further deterioration and overexploitation. Water management should systematically address forest and landscape degradation and incorporate appropriate forest management as natural infrastructure.
  • Boost sustainable Today’s production and consumption patterns are not sustainable; companies need to search for more water efficient solutions. Agriculture and food value chains must also improve the productivity and nutritional value per unit of water consumed.
  • Cooperate! Negotiation and water diplomacy are increasingly important skills, not least for countries that share rivers or other water basins.

Read the full policy brief here>> 

Convene actors, generate ideas, share knowledge, call for action

In preparation for the HLPF and other high-level meetings, SIWI has engaged with a number of stakeholders and actors to help shape a water wise agenda. 

SIWI has a consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) that hosts the HLPF and has contributed to the preparation of the meeting with input to HLPF as well as advising the Swedish Government in the development of their positions ahead of HLPF.

SIWI has contributed to the content of the SDG 6 Synthesis report, has given input to the draft ministerial declaration of the HLPF and engaged strongly in the High Level International Conference on Water Cooperation as a key milestone in the lead up to HLPF.

Open letter: Building a resilient future through water

Multi-stakeholder representatives of the water and development community presented an open letter to UN member state representatives, UN agencies and other leading organizations at an event co-organized by the Finnish and the Lebanese permanent representation to the UN in New York in May 2018. Its aim is to build a strong momentum towards the High-Level Political Forum and World Water Week, leading towards a final document that will be shared at the UN General Assembly.

Read the letter by clicking on the image and join this call by contacting Maggie White


Regarding SIWI at the High-Level Political Forum ? Please contact us.

Drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (SDG 6.1 and 6.2)

Though great strides have been made in recent years, the world is not on track to reach the targets under SDG 6. Globally, 3 in 10 people still don’t have access to safe, readily available water at home; 6 in 10 lack safely managed sanitation. 69 countries are not on track for achieving a basic water coverage for all in 2030, and 89 will not reach the sanitation goals.

Water Quality and Wastewater, Use and Scarcity, Ecosystems (SDG 6.3, 6.4, 6.6)

Today, only some 20 per cent of the global population’s sewage undergoes some form of treatment before being discharged. Growing populations, soaring demand, unsustainable production and consumption practices, and mounting environmental challenges all combine to exert worsening pressure on the world’s water resources and ecosystem services.

Water Resources Management (SDG 6.5)

Good water governance is essential to reaching any of the targets under SDG 6. The concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) is embedded in SDG 6.5 and is increasingly accepted. Even though many countries have now espoused IWRM policies and adopted official legislation on paper, policies are often not put into practice. With growing populations and water demands, international cooperation on IWRM policies will be increasingly important. Nevertheless, most transboundary basins still lack cooperative governance frameworks and institutional mechanisms.

International Cooperation, Capacity Building and Participation (SDG 6.a and 6.b)

Strong institutions and governance are key to the achievement of SDG 6 and in line with SDG 16 and 17. It is important to strengthen regulatory functions and increase accountability and transparency in water management. Water scarcity and fiercer competition for resources will hurt already vulnerable groups the most. Inclusion and empowerment are needed to combat rising inequality.

The following outlines how wise water management can enable the implementation of the other SDGs being reviewed at the 2018 HLPF.

Affordable and Clean Energy (SDG 7)

Since present water and energy systems are highly interdependent, water scarcity and variability are already increasing the vulnerability of energy systems. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that energy and water systems tend to be developed, managed, and regulated independently both on the national and international level. Future water and energy policy and governance will have to address this uncertainty.

Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11)

By 2040, it is estimated that nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population will be living in cities. Water plays a critical role in enabling resilient urban development. Nearly all the targets in SDG 11 require direct or indirect access to safe, clean and affordable water for humans and ecosystems, and proper treatment and reuse of wastewater.

Sustainable Consumption and Production (SDG 12)

Water is a key factor for various global supply chains and the demand from all water-using sectors is projected to increase. Nearly half of the targets in SDG 12 require improved management and governance of water resources and wastewater treatment.

Life on Land (SDG 15)

Water and food security can only be achieved if the restoration of multi-functional landscapes and forest management contributing to SDG 15 extend their priorities beyond conventional multi-stakeholder benefits, forest products, biodiversity and carbon storage, and more centrally include water considerations. This is also a precondition for the resilience of the ecosystem services supporting human societies.

Partnerships for the Goals (SDG 17)

The SDGs can only be reached through partnerships and joint efforts across geographical and societal boundaries. Not least is it important that disadvantaged groups are better represented in decision-making processes. Through the Agenda 2030 process, the UN can provide even greater leadership, guidance and facilitate dialogues between member states and other stakeholders.