UN 2023 Water Conference - side event applications under processing

Submitted by Nitya Jacob | published 22nd Sep 2022 | last updated 6th Oct 2023
UN 2023 Conference Vision

UN 2023 Conference Vision


The UN 2023 Water Conference – formally known as the 2023 Conference for the Midterm Comprehensive Review of Implementation of the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation (2018-2028) – will take place at UN Headquarters in New York, 22-24 March 2023, co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands.


You can submit a proposal for a side event now

Side events can be organized in connection with the UN 2023 Water Conference, either in-person or virtually, by Member States, the UN system, Intergovernmental Organizations and accredited non-governmental stakeholders. The side events will be an opportunity for all participants to share knowledge and solutions to accelerate implementation of SDG 6, identify new and emerging issues, exchange national and local experiences and practices, and showcase voluntary commitments for the Water Action Agenda.   

Priority will be given to events organized by Member States and those organized in partnership by several networks/organizations. All interested parties are strongly encouraged to partner with others to organize a side event.   

Side events can be hosted (1) in-person inside the UN Headquarters; (2) in-person in other locations in New York; or (3) virtually. 

Before applying, please read carefully the Guidelines HERE. A Frequently Asked Questions will be posted shortly.  The deadline for applications is 13 January 2023. The Conference Secretariat will review submissions and only notify those organizers whose events have been approved. Only side events that have been submitted and approved through this application process will be included in the side event programme to be made available on the UN 2023 Water Conference website.

Themes for Interactive Dialogues

This letter states the five Themes for Interactive Dialogues of the United Nations 2023 Water Conference have been finalised :

  1. Water for Health: Access to WASH, including the Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation (SDG 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 17);
  2. Water for Sustainable Development: Valuing Water, Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Sustainable Economic and Urban Development (SDG 6.3, 6.4, 6.5 and SDGs 2, 8, 9, 11, 12);
  3. Water for Climate, Resilience and Environment: Source to Sea, Biodiversity, Climate, Resilience and DRR (SDGs 6.5, 6.6, 7, 11.5, 13, 14, 15);
  4. Water for Cooperation: Transboundary and International Water Cooperation, Cross Sectoral Cooperation, including Scientific Cooperation, and Water Across the 2030 Agenda (SDG 6.5, 6.b and SDGs 16, 17)
  5. Water Action Decade: Accelerating the implementation of the objectives of the Decade, including through the UN Secretary-General’s Action Plan.

The proposed themes are supported by the five accelerators of the SDG6 Global Acceleration Framework1 (Financing, Governance, Data and Information, Capacity Development, and Innovation), and the three principles of the Conference (Inclusive, Cross Sectoral and Action Oriented).

As per resolution 75/212, each interactive dialogue will be presided over by two co-chairs, one from a developing country and one from a developed country, to be appointed by the Presidents of the Conference. After the themes are finalized, Member States will be able to submit applications for co-chairing a theme. The Co-hosts will appoint the co-chairs, taking into account the principles of transparency and of equitable geographical representation. Contributions to the preparatory process and level of participation are also taken into account.

The letter also advises the member states that due to the restrictions on the length of the documents emanating from the Secretariat, the main recommendations of your Government on the concept papers will be reflected to the extent possible. However, with your consent, the full text of your Government’s contribution will be published on the website of the Conference at: https://sdgs.un.org/conferences/water2023. The template is provided here.

Governments are invited to submit expressions of interest to serve as a co-chair for any of the five interactive dialogues at the highest level, and nominations of distinguished experts to serve as moderators and panellists of the interactive dialogues, as provided for in paragraph 9(c) and 9(d) of General Assembly resolution 75/212.


This is the first major water conference the UN has organized in about 40 years. It will focus on the progress made in the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation. The Conference is an opportunity for the Water Adaptation Community to bring water adaptation to the forefront by providing knowledge inputs and facilitating the participation of members and relevant organizations.

The conference will include an opening and closing session, six plenary sessions, and five interactive dialogues, as well as side events organized by participants. It will result in a summary of proceedings from the UNGA President that will feed into the 2023 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

This Water conference has followed the resolution, adopted on 20 December 2018 by the General Assembly on the “Midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, 2018-2028”.

WAC’s support

The Conference is crucial to WAC that will provide knowledge inputs on mainstreaming water adaptation, drylands, deltas & coastal zones and resilient cities through knowledge exchanges, focus group discussions and dialogues.

Most of WAC’s activities have addressed one or more of the themes of the interactive dialogs being proposed. We will present a summary of the same here.