Regional Water Action Agenda approved for Latin America and the Caribbean
Water. (Photo: Vecteezy)

SANTIAGO, Chile, (CMC) –Representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries have approved the Regional Water Action Agenda, which identifies the priority areas and efforts needed to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 6 to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The agenda will also enable the region to attend the United Nations 2023 Water Conference due to take place in March in New York, with one voice.

The Regional Agenda is the main outcome of the third edition of the four day Regional Water Dialogues 2023, which was organised by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) along with 10 multilateral organisations and the Government of the Netherlands specialising in water.

Addressing the close of the high-level ministerial event, ECLAC’s Executive Secretary, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, said the drafting and approval of the Regional Water Action Agenda, which will serve as a contribution in the framework of the United Nations Water Conference, which he described as the most important event on water in the last 50 years and a historic time to move towards a transition in water management.

“We have more than achieved the goal of this Regional Water Dialogue by not only analysing in depth the challenges and progress related to SDG 6 and reviewing innovative solutions,” he said.

“In addition, we have achieved commitments to actions and policies for accelerating its fulfilment in Latin America and the Caribbean, moving firmly towards a shared aspiration, a sustainable and inclusive water transition,” the UN regional commission’s highest authority emphasised.”

The ECLAC official praised the achievements and innovations that strengthen proper water governance in the region’s countries to move towards more sustainable management.

However, he warned that countries still face numerous challenges and that the national water authority must have higher rank and governments need to progressively bolster their institutions, eliminating current gaps and facilitating coordination among them.

He recalled that in Latin America and the Caribbean, water-related disasters are those that occur the most and have the greatest impact, and he stressed that early warning systems take on vital importance since they reduce the population’s risk of being exposed to the effects of disaster, including flooding.

That is why, he said, it is necessary to invest in Integrated Water Resources Management as a solution to better manage these situations and create resilience, especially in the Caribbean’s Small Island Developing States.

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