On June 6-9, 2022, the Government of Tajikistan, in cooperation with the United Nations and other partners, held the Second High-Level International Conference in the framework of the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028 titled “Strengthening Action and Expanding Partnerships to Address Water Issues at the Local, National, Regional and Global Levels”. The conference was held in a mixed format, in Dushanbe (offline) and online.
The conference was attended by 2.5 thousand politicians, scientists and experts from various regions of the world representing governments, international and regional organizations, financial institutions, civil society and the private sector. In addition, another 500 participants joined the conference online.
For three days, the participants discussed pressing water problems. The conference program consisted of plenary sessions, forums, panel and parallel sessions.
The work of the high-level conference was opened by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Emomali Rahmon.
In his speech, the President emphasized the importance of water resources for achieving sustainable development. He outlined the global situation and development trends in the field of water resources, as well as the efforts of Tajikistan to promote water issues in the regional and global agenda.
After the speech of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina Mohammed, Chair of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN Colin Vixen Kelapile, UN Under-Secretary-General for Water 2023 and Co-Chair of the Second Dushanbe Conference Liu Zhenming, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Roman Sklyar, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Muhammadguly Muhammadov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shukhrat Ganiev, EU Commissioner for the Environment Sinkevičius Virginijus, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank Shiksin Chen, Vice -European Bank for Reconstruction and Development President Mark Bowman, World Bank Director of Global Water Jennifer Sarah, Australian athlete Mina Gouli and Chadian Youth Representative Dionnon Bienwinoue made a speech at the conference.
The speakers expressed their gratitude to the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for global water and climate initiatives, organizing and holding the Second High-Level International Conference at a high level.
The conference included panel sessions covering actions and partnerships in the field of water resources at the local, national, regional and global levels; strengthening the relationship between water and health to respond to the challenges of a post-COVID world; efficiency and value of water, safe conditions for water supply, sanitation and hygiene, transboundary water cooperation and others.
The outcome of the conference was the adoption by the participants of the Dushanbe Declaration, which reflects the key points of the discussions and a number of important conclusions and recommendations.
The text of the declaration refers to the readiness to act to achieve the goals set within the framework of the "Water Decade" proclaimed by the UN. The priority areas are ensuring universal and equal access to water, recognition of the importance of water for life support and economic growth. The participants also included in the declaration key messages for the UN Water Conference, including support for the initiative of Tajikistan to declare 2025 the International Year for the Protection of Glaciers.
Summing up the work of the conference, Liu Zhenming called this event a success for Tajikistan. “The second high-level international conference, held at the initiative of the President of Tajikistan, became an important message to the world community on cooperation in the field of water,” the UN Deputy Secretary General emphasized.
The event provided an opportunity for a joint discussion of the achievements and challenges in the implementation of the Decade of Action in the field of water resources, including the initiatives adopted at the First Dushanbe Water Conference.
Forums of the second Dushanbe Conference:
On June 6, 2022, five different forums were held for the 2nd High-Level International Conference within the framework of the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028.
The forums were attended by high-ranking representatives of the governments of the countries of the region, development partners, as well as civil society.
- “Forum on Regional Water Cooperation in Central Asia” was organized by the Executive Committee of IFAS and the World Bank in partnership with CAWEP, the European Union, Switzerland, USAID, GIZ and CAREC to provide an opportunity to showcase further water coordination efforts in Central Asia.
- “Women's Water Forum: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: Water Unites Us” was organized by the Royal Academy of Sciences International Trust (RASIT) in cooperation with the OSCE. The purpose of the forum was to strengthen existing and create new partnerships, discuss success and failure factors, and address gaps and emerging challenges.
- "Youth and Children's Water Forum" organized by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) together with EC IFAS, MEW, WMO, CYS, WYN, WYPW, CAY4W provided a platform for youth from Tajikistan and around the world on the impact of access to safe and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for life and the future.
- “Forum of Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities: Inclusive Approaches to Water in Ecosystems, Land, Agriculture and Knowledge Development”, served as a platform for indigenous peoples to discuss how to better manage water and land resources to protect vital ecosystems and the importance of water security.
- “Water and Mountains on the Path to Sustainable Development”, was based on ongoing partnership efforts towards the common goal of better achieving SDG 6 and, to a large extent, focused on the implementation of the recommendations made during the preliminary forum on dialogue on water and climate.
Panel sessions of the second Dushanbe Conference:
As part of the 2nd Dushanbe Conference, twelve thematic and interactive panels were held. The panels focused on SDG 6, the goals of the Decade of Action on Water and areas related to means of implementation.
The panels are organized by partners of the Dushanbe Water Process, including Member States, United Nations agencies and programmes, other international and regional organizations, international financial institutions, development partners, private companies, as well as academia and non-governmental organizations.
Three thematic panels on water for health and people:
- Expanding the link between water and health to address the world's challenges in the context of COVID-19
- Accelerating access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)
- Improving the sustainability of water resources in urban and rural areas
Three thematic panels on water for livelihoods and inclusive economic growth
- Promoting integrated water resources management, water use efficiency and water cost valuation
- Accelerating the interconnection between water, energy and food in the post-COVID-19 recovery
- Transboundary water cooperation for inclusive economic growth and sustainability
Three thematic panels on water, environment and climate resilience
- Promoting natural water solutions, water quality and ecosystems
- Sustainable infrastructure and disaster risk reduction
- Water and climate: strengthening the relationship
Three interactive panels on education, technology and awareness
- Promotion of science-based solutions, tools and technologies in the field of water resources
- Moving beyond the aquatic environment and promoting integration at all levels
- Improving knowledge, education and communication
The results of the panels were presented at the closing session. They were also reflected in the final documents of the Second Dushanbe Conference of the Decade of Action “Water for Sustainable Development”.
Side events of the second Dushanbe Conference:
Parallel sessions within the framework of the second Dushanbe conference were held from 7 to 8 June 2022. The parallel sessions focused on various issues of the goals of the International Decade for Water, including: the policy support framework for SDG 6, the impact of climate change on water resources in Central Asia, regional cooperation for sustainable development, water security and migration in the region, digital tools and e-learning for transboundary water resources management.