Today marked the opening session of the high-level event ‘Water and Beyond – EU transformative approaches for international partnerships’, co-hosted by the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships (DG INTPA – formerly DG DEVCO) and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of Government of Portugal.
Over 4 consecutive days, ‘Water and Beyond’ will highlight the intersections of water with the EU strategic pillars for International Partnerships and shape the ongoing programming exercise of the European Commission.
In support of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, the event will deliver insights on how to strengthen transboundary cooperation, build broader partnerships and trigger water investments through frameworks such as the Team Europe Initiative.
“Access to safe drinking water and sanitation is a game-changer for women and children and contributes to reducing inequalities. We know that improved water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities and access to safe drinking water are directly related to increased rates of school attendance, especially among girls. And while the EU is a global water leader, with more than 2.6 billion euros committed in the last financial period, we can do more and better. As the EU and its Member States, acting together as ‘Team Europe’, are currently embarking on a new programming period for partner countries, now is the time to reflect collectively on how to translate human right to water and sanitation obligations into meaningful action on the ground,” said the Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič, during the opening ceremony.
The online event will take place from 18 to 21 January.
With seven technical sessions discussing major water issues, international experts, policy-makers and decision-makers will present their work and solutions for partnerships to establish connections across thematic silos for water policies, projects and programmes.
On the first day, participants will discuss actions to enable equal opportunities and impact human development.
On the second day, exchanges will focus on water cooperation, governance and diplomacy as instruments for peace and stability; mechanisms to mobilise public and private investment to bridge the financial gap for SDG 6; and how to address the cascading crises generated by the water-climate nexus.
The third day will bring an opportunity to consider policies, regulations, economic measures and capacity building initiatives to tackle the lack of trained water professionals required to develop the water sector.
On the last day, participants will discuss the role of governance in facilitating universal and sustainable access to water and sanitation.
Key speakers include:
- the EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič,
- the Slovenian Minister for Development,
- the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation,
- the Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands,
- the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation,
- the Associate Director for WASH at UNICEF,
- and the UNECE Executive Secretary and the CEO of Water and Sanitation for All
For any questions, please contact the dedicated email address.