Arab Preparatory Meeting on Water Issues for the 2018 AFSD & HLPF
The League of Arab States, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) are jointly organizing the Regional Preparatory Meeting on Water Issues for the 2018 Arab Forum on Sustainable Development and High Level Political Forum from 28 to 29 March 2018 at the United Nations House in Beirut, Lebanon.
The meeting is organized in consultation with the members of the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) Working Group established under the auspices of the Arab Ministerial Water Council to support regional preparations on water-related issues for the HLPF. The Working Group is comprised of the League of Arab States, Arab Center for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands (ACSAD), Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), Arab Network for Environment and Development (RAED), Arab Organization for Agriculture and Development (AOAD), Arab Water Council (AWC), Centre for Environment and Development for the Arab Region and Europe (CEDARE), FAO, UN Environment and ESCWA. ESCWA coordinates the working group in consultation with ACWUA and the League of Arab States.
This consultation will provide a platform to exchange experiences, examine indicators, and foster dialogue among water stakeholders in Arab States on the water dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including SDG 6 which aims to “Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”
The meeting will result in a joint regional outcome statement on water-related issues that will be delivered to the Arab Forum on Sustainable Development (Beirut, 24-26 April 2018). The statement will also be discussed at the 10th session of the Arab Ministerial Water Council (Kuwait, 2 May 2018) and inform preparations for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) (New York, 9-18 July 2018).
The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development is the main United Nations platform supporting the monitoring and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. The HLPF focuses on a theme and a set of six SDGs during each of its annual sessions, including Goal 17 on “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development”, which is reviewed each year.
The thematic focus of the 2018 session is on "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies." The set of goals under review during this cycle are:
SDG 6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
SDG 7. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
SDG 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
SDG 12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
SDG 15. Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.
As part of its follow-up and review functions of the HLPF, eight Arab States have offered to present their voluntary national review of progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda during the 2018 session, namely: Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, State of Palestine, Sudan and United Arab Emirates. VNRs were previously presented by Egypt and Morocco in 2016, and Qatar and Jordan in 2017.
The thematic focus of the 2018 Arab Forum for Sustainable Development (AFSD) will also address "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies," but will pursue this theme from the entry point of “Natural Resources, Future Generations, and the Common Good.”
The regional outcome statement resulting from this preparatory meeting on water issues will inform deliberation undertaken during the AFSD and HLPF.