United Nations, World Bank Group launch high-level panel on water

The Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the World Bank jointly announce their intention to form a new panel to mobilise urgent action towards the sustainable development goal for water and sanitation (SDG 6) and related targets. [1]

The announcement comes as countries experience water stress and water-related disasters that will grow worse due to climate change without better policy decisions.

“Water is a precious resource, crucial to realizing the SDGs, which at their heart aim to eradicate poverty,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The new Panel can help motivate the action we need to turn ideas into reality. The United Nations system, including through UN Water and the United Nations development system’s universal operational presence, is committed to promote inclusive and country-led action on SDG6 and related targets.”

The panel, to be co-chaired by the Presidents of Mauritius and Mexico, will comprise a group of heads of State/Government from developed and developing countries, convened by the United Nations Secretary-General and the President of the World Bank Group to:

  • Motivate Action – Focus public policy dialogue, private sector models and practices and civil society initiatives towards the Water SDG; and
  • Advocate on financing and implementation – Promote efforts to mobilise financial resources and scale-up investment for the Water SDG, including through innovative financing and implementation strategies.

“Achieving the water global goal would have multiple benefits, including laying the foundations for food and energy security, sustainable urbanization, and ultimately climate security” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “My hope is that this panel accelerates action in many countries so that we can make water more accessible to all.”

The World Bank and UN will facilitate access to a variety of technical organizations to support the panel, including OECD, Stockholm International Water Institute, World Economic Forum, World Water Council, and World Resources Institute.

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