Ethiopia held the first preparation meeting for the UN-Water Conference 2023 on November 29, 2022, in Addis Ababa.
Published on: 01/12/2022
IRC WASH, UNICEF, and the Netherlands Embassy with the lead of the Ministry of Water and Energy organised the meeting engaging different stakeholders. The purpose of the meeting was to agree on the key messages to be conveyed at the conference and to renew the country's commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals (2030) and the International Decade for Action Water for Sustainable Development (2018- 2030).
In his opening remark, the Minister of Water and Energy, His excellency Dr. Eng. Habtamu Itefa, emphasized the need to increase awareness about Ethiopia's ‘’green legacy’’ efforts and its contributions to the globe by planting more than 25 billion trees during the last four years to ensure water security through reversing land degradation and reducing carbon emission. The Minister also addressed the country's efforts to cooperate with its neighbours for mutual renewable energy sources and use which is part of water resource development.
Speaking about the UN Water Conference, Kitka Goyol, WASH Chief from UNICEF Ethiopia, stated that the UN Water Conference will be an opportunity to strengthen partnerships and act as a global community, and to assess progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6), provide space for governments and the WASH sector to identify scaling solutions, and most importantly, make actionable commitments. He also emphasized the importance of focusing on key SDG 6 accelerators such as reliable data, good governance, smart public finance, innovation, and capacity.
The meeting discussed the steps that the government should take to achieve SDG 6. Following the discussion, Dr. Eng. Habtamu outlined the priorities for the next country engagement meeting which will take place prior to the UN Water Conference. The five major areas he underlined are: capacity including tapping into indigenous knowledge and domestic resources, technology innovations and adoption, use of reliable data, integrated water resources management, and communication.
The meeting decided to establish a technical team before the next consultative meeting from different stakeholders to consolidate the country’s SDG 6 related commitments with milestones that will be presented for discussion during the next UN 2023 water conference country engagement meeting.