- Water is a fundamental part of all aspects of life, and access to water and sanitation services is a human right. It is inextricably linked to the three pillars of sustainable development and integrates social, cultural, economic, and political values. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies, and environment, water is the biggest deal breaker to achieving the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
- The UN Water Conference mobilized various stakeholders and offered an excellent platform for dialogue, aiming to create a scientific panel on water and more than 700 initiatives. Critical involvement of youth is crucial in contributing innovative ideas to an intergenerational dialogue with senior experts.
- We are facing a severe problem of governance when discussing water, and water must be used as a tool for peace and a way to develop understanding and cooperation.
On May 6, 2023, YPFP Brussels hosted a Post-UN Water Conference Event. The event was moderated by UN Series Officer Lina Stahl, and was organized in collaboration with the YPFP Tokyo branch.
Himaja Nagireddy, the 11th youth observer of UN-USA, delivered brief opening remarks on the role of the youth in climate change, water scarcity, and achieving SDG 6. The short presentations by Cyrielle Noel, Founder & Managing Director of Eau-DaCite, Dr. Carmen Marques Ruiz, EU Climate Pact Ambassador & Coordinator of the Spanish Ambassadors of the EU Climate Pact, Peshang Hama Karim, a Ph.D. Candidate in Hydrology & the Regional Youth Focal Point in Northern Africa and Western Asia at the UN International Federation of Youth (UN1FY), Grace Silver, Director of WASH Sustainability & Engagement at CLEAN International, and Iris Zhan, Youth Messenger of Climate Science and the leader of local and international initiatives such as the Sunrise Movement Howard County Hub and Fridays For Future Digital (FFF Digital) highlighted the crucial need to step up the game for the youth to take action towards the pressing challenges of water scarcity, climate change, and conflict.
The Q&A session discussed the challenges of reaching a global impact by implementing projects on a local level. By integrating local communities and NGOs in the dialogue on the decision-making process and overall implementation of international projects, better outcomes can be achieved to address individual needs and tackle today’s water and climate change challenges. The event concluded with closing remarks by YPFP Tokyo, emphasizing that water is a priority and that the water crisis we face must not be ignored.
Written by Lina Stahl, UN Series Officer, YPFP Brussels