The UN Water conference – the first one since 1977 -, co-hosted by the Governments of Tajikistan and the Netherlands, was focusing on the crucial role of water in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), primarily SDG 6: clean water and sanitation for all. The conference consisted of several plenaries, interactive dialogues and side events.
During the afternoon plenary on 24 March, Ioannis Katsoyiannis made a statement as the Director of the Institute of Sustainable Water Management and Water Law of the EPLO. In his speech, he emphasized topics relevant not only for EPLO, but also representing the views of the Association of Greek Chemists and the EuChemS Division of Chemistry and the Environment, of which he is Chair of. These included the reduction of water pollution, as part of an integrated, holistic approach, as well as dealing with current lack of access to water – meaning we have yet to achieve SDG 6 – and issues water scarcity may cause in the future. He also highlighted chemical pollution in groundwaters, originating from microplastics and Persistent Organic Pollutants – reinforcing the point he made at the Zero Pollution Stakeholder Platform of the European Commission, where he represents EuChemS.
The European Commission’s position was made clear by President Ursula von der Leyen, who addressed the conference by video message, in which, alongside ensuring the EU’s support of the UN Water Agenda, she also highlighted the importance of water in the European Green Deal.
As the conference is concluded, the UN aims to deliver the proceedings, including the commitments, pledges and actions of the Conference soon.