Uniting the world for water: United Nations conference

The first Unite Nations water conference in decades, the UN 2023 Water Conference was held in New York in March. The conference was designed to mobilize member states, the UN system, and stakeholders alike to take action and to develop successful solutions on a global scale. 

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations called for innovative drought financing mechanisms to help deal with the rising frequency and severity of drought events amid intensifying climate extremes that often damage fragile communities the most.

“The lack of adequate, timely and innovative financial resources remains a major barrier to proactive and integrated drought management,” FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu told a special event at the conference

The opening day of the March 22-24 conference coincided with World Water Day 2023, an annual UN event designed to raise awareness and inspire action to tackle the water and sanitation crisis. 

Since conventional financial sources, mechanisms and instruments may not be sufficient to support investments in drought risk reduction and resilience building, “responsive and innovative drought financing mechanisms need to be clearly identified as a component of overall climate finance,” Qu told the conference. 

The director-general also called for an increase in private sector participation, as well as a greater global knowledge base to ensure that investment decisions reflect current needs and foresee trends. “We cannot end poverty and hunger unless we get ahead of the curve on droughts,” Qu said.

Read the vision statement of the Water Conference

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