Water is a dealmaker for the Sustainable Development Goals, and for the health and prosperity of people and planet. But our progress on water related goals and targets remains alarmingly off track, jeopardizing the entire sustainable development agenda.

The UN 2023 Water Conference in March must result in a bold Water Action Agenda that gives our world's lifeblood the commitment it deserves. (Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations).

The Asian Development Bank will be co-convening, partnering and speaking at over four dozens side events and sessions at the UN Headquarters in New York. We reaffirm our commitments to achieving inclusive, sustainable, and resilient water security in Asia and the Pacific for 2030 and beyond.

ADB’s commitments:


  21 March

Time: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: Trusteeship, UN Headquarters
Organizers: UN Center for Regional Development (UNCRD), National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies | AUS, HUN, INO, JPN, NET, KOR, SWE, TAJ | High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (HELP)

This session is dedicated to the issue of water and disasters, with theme “Connecting Midterm Reviews of Water and Disaster Risk Reduction under Climate Change”. It aims to provide recommendations to the UN 2023 Water Conference while raising awareness and promoting actions for building back better towards more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive society in the post-COVID-19 era by addressing the issues of water and disasters and other development issues.

Time: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Accenture One Manhattan office - 395 9th Ave, New York, NY 10001
Organizers: Veolia | Accenture

The session will showcase this specific example of an action-driven partnership to identify the key success factors to scale such initiatives and discuss how corporates can extend their impact through innovative approaches.

  22 March

Time: 12:30 - 1:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: ECOSOC, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Kingdom of Morocco - UNESCO - INBO - International Water Resources Association (IWRA)

This session aims to demonstrate and convince that "by the basins and for the basins", we will be able to achieve more quickly the Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal 6 on water.

Time: 1:15 - 2:30 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Trusteeship, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Tajikistan Government, Japan Water Forum c/o APWF Secretariat TAJ GOV; Secretariat of the HQ for Water Cycle Policy of the Cabinet Secretariat (JPN); ESCAP; UNESCO REP to PRC, Democratic People’s Republic of KOR, JPN, MON and Republic of KOR; UN-HABITAT; ADB; Japan Water Forum c/o APWF Secretariat; Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea; GWP South Asia, IWMI

This session will showcase how a few countries have made voluntary commitments and actions in addressing water security challenges for Climate, Resilience, and Environment in Asia and the Pacific. It will also discuss and debate what works, what lessons to learn, and how to replicate and scale successes.

Time: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Side Event Room B, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Water and Sanitation Agency (Brazil), Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System Regulatory Office (Philippines), ADB, Australian Water Partnership, Asia Pacific Water Forum,Deltares, Global Water Partnership, International Water Management Institute, Northwestern University, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Sanitation and Water For All, Public UtilitiesBoard Singapore, Stockholm International Water Institute, University of Technology Sydney, WaterEnvironment Federation, World Health Organization United Nations Children’s Fund, UN-Water, UnitedNational Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Water insecurity has a disproportionate effect on women and girls, in terms of the likelihood of food insecurity, personal safety concerns, vulnerability to disasters, and water-borne disease risks. Similarly, women are significantly under represented in water leadership roles, where critical decisions on water investments and allocation of water resources are made. Addressing these inequalities, including access to safely managed water supply, sanitation, and water resources, and ensuring that women are well-represented as water leaders, policymakers, and professionals, is essential to accelerate progress on SDGs, particularly SDG 6.

The session will focus on:
(i) how to better measure and track gendered dimensions of women’s water insecurity, and women’s representation in water leadership and policymaking roles, including the need for enhanced data collection efforts and establishing baselines (ii) sharing case studies on transformative practices, which have good potential for scale-up and replication, to enhance women’s leadership and water resilience and security, including countries’ experiences in implementing efforts to promote gender equality in the water sector and foster women’s participation in policy making.

The session will bring together member states and other organizations that are part of the Inclusion Roundtable that was launched at Stockholm World Water Week in 2022. These are a network of organizations drawn from governments, international organizations, think tanks, civil society organizations, private sector entities, and others, which was formed to collectively work together to promote inclusion in water.

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: The Nature Hub: Apella - 450 E 29th Street, New York, NY 10016, New York City
Organizers: Kenya | The Nature Conservancy | ADB

This session will explore examples at multiple scale: transboundary, national and subnational catchment scales. It will be structured around themes to be discussed at the Conference: Governance, Financing and Capacity Building using inclusive ‘whole of society’ approaches.

Time: 5:00 - 8:30 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Morgan Library & Museum, New York City
Organizers: Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands | Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Washington D.C. | Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in New York City | Netherlands Enterprise Agency (NEA) | Enterprise Europe Network

This session aims to inspire and sustain collaboration that accelerates and scales water initiatives around the globe. It aims show the importance of the private sector in taking responsibility for and offer solutions to the water challenges facing the world.

Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, 320 East 43rd Street, New York
Organizer: Sanitation and Water for All | UN Foundation

This session aims to leave the UN Water Conference with determination and clarity that the goal of universal access by 2030 is within our reach if accountability becomes part of our efforts at all levels.

  23 March

Time: 7:00 a.m. (New York time), 4:00 p.m. (Islamabad time), 7:00 p.m. (Manila time)

This virtual session will highlight and feature ongoing developments towards integrated approaches to flood risk management in Pakistan post-2022 floods, incorporating both structural and non-structural measures. Presentations and Q&A will feature a range of stakeholders overseeing, implementing, and supporting actions toward integrated flood risk management in Pakistan.

The devastating floods of 2022 in Pakistan killed over 1,700 people and 1.2 million livestock and displaced over 7.9 million people. The risks to the country from increasingly variable and intense floods are expected to grow under future climate changes. The poor, and often women and girls, are most vulnerable to these impacts. Pakistan’s traditionally infrastructure-oriented approach to flood protection – primarily for riverine floods – has proven to be limited in flexibility to address these emerging risks.

Meeting ID: 983 0254 4957
Passcode: ADB2023#

Time: 8:00 - 9:15 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: Side Event Room C, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Pratt Institute, Rebuild by Design, Water as Leverage, Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management NL, Egis, Arcadis, University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Singapore University of Technology and Design, Universidad Del Desarrollo

This session aims to bring together government leaders, academic institutions, design, and financial organizations to share ideas prioritizing design-based solutions for water safety, access, quality, and delivery.

Time: 8:00 - 10:00 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: Permanent Mission of Spain to UN - 1 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza, 36th floor, New York
Organizers: UNCCD | International Drought Resilience Alliance (IDRA)

IDRA is an initiative to accelerate action and help countries to be better prepared for future droughts by giving political impetus to make the land’s resilience to drought a reality by 2030. Droughts are hitting more often and harder than before (up nearly by a third since 2000) and climate change is expected to cause more severe droughts in the future.

Time: 9:00 - 10:30 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park, New York Room, 51st Floor, Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York City
Organizers: Co-convened by the UK GOV, and the Resilient Water Accelerator, and hosted by the Bank of America

This session will discuss the opportunities for investment in developing countries, and to share the action being taken to address the most critical of issues, bringing together public and private finance to urgently scale up climate-resilient water investments.

Time: 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 8, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS), Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, the World Bank

Commitments of Central Asia region towards implementation of the Water Action Agenda.

Time: 11:00 - 12:15 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Side Event Room 9, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Asia Water Council (AWC);OECD, UNDP, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), World Bank (WB), Green Climate Fund (GCF), Asia Development Bank (ADB), Korea Water Resources Corporation (K-water), International Water Resources Association (IWRA) and others

This session will showcase practical water projects with all climate action groups to increase the fund accessibility and exchange ideas, especially those related to climate resilience building.

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: UNICEF HQ in New York, 10th floor conference room
Organizers: Water Finance Coalition, CAF, BANOBRAS and AFD

This session will be an opportunity to find common goals and mobilize alliances/networks among international finance institutions and national public development banks. It will also present innovative financial tools and instruments, to feed into the mutual peer learning culture of this Coalition. It will highlight financial and technical commitments made by participants to the Water Action Agenda.

Time: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Water House, New York
Organizer: De Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO Netherlands)
Time: 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Side Event Room 9, UN Headquarters
Organizers: WHO, ADB, WaterAid Canada, Northwestern University

This session summarizes water security status from global to local level with a focus on SDG6 metrics and Water Action Decade objectives. It will share experiences on the indicators of water security, data collection and availability, gaps and challenges including practical applications. It will propose solutions that can more accurately capture physical, economic, health and societal dimensions, and recommend commitments that can be realistically implemented by governments, with civil society support.

Time: 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: ECOSOC CHAMBER, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore and PUB, Singapore's National Water Agency

This session will share best practices in leveraging technology for sustainable water management, and exchange views on how international community can work collectively to catalyse innovation for a resilient future.

Time: 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Nature Hub, 450 E 29th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10016; (212) 706-4100

Rivers, their basins, and coastal zones face unparalleled pressures to continue providing sustainable benefits to maintain human welfare and support a healthy ecosystem and their services. Past exploitation and the continuous unsustainable management of water and land resources are now compounded by the unprecedented challenge of climate change. This crisis is impacting global economies and our collective well being, the environment, and biodiversity, and will permanently alter our planet and societies. To address this crisis, an integrated river basin management (IRBM) approach to water management from headwaters to coastal zones is essential, guided by: (i) governance and policy reforms; (ii) stakeholder engagement and regional cooperation; (iii) science and evidence-based approaches; (iv) innovation, technology, and nature-based solutions; (v) cross-sectoral frameworks; (vi)a systems approach with enhanced planning; and (vii) mobilization of finance.

The session will present selected cases and share knowledge and solutions that demonstrate successful applications of integrated IRBM which focus on inclusive governance and application of the above principles to achieve successful cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder outcomes. Importantly, the session will highlight on-the-ground projects and programs which accelerate implementation of the SDGs and identify critical issues facing policymakers and practitioners through national and local experiences.

The session will adopt an integrated, cross sectoral perspective to address resilient water management and may touch upon topics such as regulations based on a systems science approach, climate smart agriculture and value chains, water and climate sensitive urban development, application of nature-based solutions to address climate change, coastal pollution control as well as climate change mitigation measures to reduce GHG emission and promote carbon sequestration through agriculture and land use management.

Time: 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza
Organizers: Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Public Works and Housing of the Republic of Indonesia

This session aims to introduce the visions and plans of the Green Transition Initiative (GTI), and to discuss future cooperation opportunities.

Time: 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 6, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Government of Guatemala, SEPREM – Presidential Secretary for Women and other partners.

This session will bring the voices of the Global Multistakeholder Coalition for gender equality in water to discuss concrete actions linked to the Water Action Decade, and agree upon a joint roadmap.

Time: 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters
Organizer: Slovenia on behalf of the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition
Time: 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters
Organizers: OECD, UN-Habitat, Local Authorities Major Group, IAAS, C40, World Food Forum, MetaMeta, Dutch Water Authorities, WaterWorX, Global Commission on the Economics of Water (GCEW)

This open dialogue will discuss the criticality of the Water Action Agenda; highlight the need for the global water cycle to be managed as a global common good and safeguarded through effective multilateralism; and illustrate the governance conditions that are needed for a more efficient, just and sustainable use of water from the local to the global level to achieve water security.

Time: 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Deltares, Government of the Netherlands, Government of Bangladesh, Government of Vietnam, Government of Curacao, Government of Aruba, ADB, Local2030 Islands Network, Global Centre on Adaptation

This session will launch of the International Panel on Deltas, Coastal Areas and Islands (IPDC), share knowledge and drive international cooperation to accelerate climate adaptation action.

Time: 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters
Organizer: Sustainable Sanitation Alliance

  24 March

Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (EDT)
Venue: Water House, 666 Third Avenue 21st floor, New York
Organizer: IPDC Secretariat

This session aims to briefly introduce the IPDC and its ambition and role in accelerating climate adaptation actions, what IPDC will deliver and how parties contribute to it. It aims to identify prioritized challenges and possible innovative approaches for accelerating climate adaptation strategies in deltas, coastal areas and islands.

Time: 9:30 - 10:45 a.m. (EDT)
Organizers: Ministry of water development and sanitation of Zambia, Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives, Bangladesh, Ministry of Water and Energy, Ethiopia, Ministry of National Development Planning: Directorate Urban, Housing, and Settlement, Indonesia, Ministry of Water Supply, Nepal, South Sudan, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda Ministry of Water, Tanzania Ministère d’Eau et Assainissement (MEA), Sénégal, BMZ, AMCOW, AUC, UNICEF GGGI WaterAid World Bank Resilient Cities Network ADB BMGF AfDB GIZ SuSanA SNV UTS WHO UN-Habitat IWA

Multi Stakeholder Dialogue on Pollution, Sanitation, Water Quality and Climate Resilience.

Time: 10:00 - 12:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza (3 min. walk from UN Headquarters)
Organizers: K-water | Ministry of Environment of Republic of Korea |NET, US, AUS, INO, MAL, VIE, MYA, Pacific Island Country (TBD)|UN-Water | WB | AWC | KWF | Dutch Enterprise Agency (RVO) | NWP | USAID | ADB
Time: 10:00 - 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters
Organizer: UN1FY

This Special Event aims to determine actionable commitments that each participant can implement to support critical engagement with underrepresented groups. It will co-create inclusive leadership mechanisms for the follow-up and monitoring of the Water Action Agenda that will put at the forefront the voices of marginalized communities. It will identify priority intergenerational, intersectoral, gender and geographically inclusive partnerships and commitments to scale up engagement. In doing so, the event shall recognise the need to expand financing mechanisms with strong accountability, especially federal and state funding to invest in youth education and innovation.

Time: 11:00 - 12:15 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Side Event Room C, UN Headquarters
Organizers: Water Security Council of Japan, ADB, Children and Youth International, Global Water Partnership, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Water Forum, Kumamoto city, Water Cooperation Association Com aqua

The session aims to propose meaningful youth engagement to resolve water-related issues through sharing youth-led projects across the world.

Time: 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. (EDT)
Venue: Conference Room 2, UN Headquarters
Organizer: International Water Management Institute - Colombo | GOV of Pakistan/Ministry of Water Resources

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