Water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human development, health and wellbeing. Water-related challenges, including limited access to safe water and sanitation, increasing pressure on water resources and ecosystems, disasters and an exacerbated risk of droughts and floods, have received increasing attention in the global development arena. Water is at the heart of recent milestone agreements such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and the 2015 Paris Agreement. The World Economic Forum ranks the water crisis in the top 3 of global risks for the third consecutive year. Failing to respond effectively to these challenges will have devastating global effects.
To be successful, Member States and the United Nations (UN) system will need to respond in a coordinated and effective manner. In its resolution 71/222 ( further referred to as “Resolution”) the General Assembly proclaims the period from 2018 to 2028 the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” (the “Decade”), to further improve cooperation, partnership and capacity development in response to the ambitious 2030 Agenda. Commencing on World Water Day, 22 March 2018, and concluding on World Water Day 2028, the Decade builds on the achievements of the previous “Water for Life” Decade, 2005-2015. The resolution states that the objectives of the Decade should be a greater focus on: