Friday, September 25, 2015

Sustainable Development Goals: Increasing the Emphasis on Water

Water must be a priority issue as we adopt Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A total of 193 world leaders are engaged in a process that will formally adopt 17 SDGs. This takes place at the United Nations summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda which takes place between September 25 and 27, in New York. Although one of the 17 global goals (Goal 6) aims to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, there needs to be more emphasis on water.

The replacement of Millennium Development Goals with SDGs was first announced at the end of 2013.

The 17 sustainable development goals are:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere
Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture
Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all
Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all
Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss
Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels
Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

It is important to understand that as water is key to sustainable development and it must be made a higher priority if the other SDG goals are to be achieved.

SIWI is in New York to advocate for the inclusion of water in addition to goal 6 as dedicated sustainable development goals. As SIWI explains, "Access to water is a prerequisite for the achievement of the majority of the other goals such as poverty, health, food, energy, climate, and infrastructure."

On Sunday September 27, SIWI Executive Director, Torgny Holmgren will participate in a high-level event, Catalyzing Implementation and Achievement of the Water-related SDGs.

In his opening address at the recent World Water Week in Stockholm, the Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven emphasized the importance of water.  "When the international community is shaping a new sustainable development agenda, water management and allocation must be at its heart. Not only as a separate goal but as an essential vehicle for development and health," Löfven said.

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