The International Science Council at the UN 2023 Water Conference

Discover how the ISC is involved in the UN Water Conference, an international conference fostering and maintaining a dialogue to unite the world for water, leading to the adoption of the Water Action Agenda. The Conference will take place between 22 – 24 March at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The International Science Council at the UN 2023 Water Conference

About the UN Water Conference 

The UN 2023 Water Conference, co-hosted by Tajikistan and the Netherlands, will take place at UN Headquarters in New York, 22-24 March 2023. 

Water is a fundamental part of all aspects of life. Water is inextricably linked to the three pillars of sustainable development, and it integrates social, cultural, economic and political values. It is crosscutting and supports the achievement of many SDGs through close linkages with climate, energy, cities, the environment, food security, poverty, gender equality and health, amongst others. With climate change profoundly affecting our economies, societies and environment, water is indeed the biggest deal breaker to achieve the internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Against this backdrop, ISC sees its main role in providing evidence-based and politically independent scientific guidance to decision-makers by drawing on its large and diverse global membership and the embodied expertise of natural and social water scientists and related challenges. 

About the ISC

The Council convenes the scientific expertise and resources needed to lead on catalysing, incubating and coordinating impactful international action on issues of major scientific and public importance. The Council’s Action Plan forms a practical framework for the ISC’s work until the end of 2024, and to work towards our vision of science as a global public good.

The ISC works at the intersection of science and policy, particularly at the UN level, to ensure that science is integrated into international policy development and that relevant policies take into account both scientific knowledge and the needs of science.

Science and actionable knowledge are critical to advance global water goals

Policy Brief: UN 2023 Water Conference

International Science Council, 2023. UN 2023 Water Conference: ISC Policy Brief. Paris, International Science Council.

Within the framework of the Conference, the ISC is releasing a policy brief providing actionable and science-based solutions for policy- and decision-makers to address different types of water-related challenges. Drawing from the extensive knowledge of its transdisciplinary and diverse Expert Group on Water, the ISC divided water issues and associated solutions into four categories: persistent with known solutions, identical requiring differentiated solutions, rapidly changing requiring new solutions, and future issues.

ISC statements at the UN 2023 Water Conference

The ISC at the 2023 UN Water Conference 

Times are in EST

Wednesday 22 March
15:00 – 18:00: Interactive Dialogue #2 
Water for Sustainable Development: Valuing Water, Water-Energy-Food Nexus and Sustainable Economic and Urban Development 👉 Find out more
Conference Room 4, UNHQ in New York
Thursday 23 March
14:00 – 15:00: ISC and WFEO Virtual side-event 
The Role of the S&T Community on the Pillars for Accelerating Progress and Transformative Actions on SDG 6 👉 Find out more

15:00 – 18:00: Special Event
The Economics of Water: transforming governance to secure a sustainable, just and prosperous future 👉 Find out more
Conference Room 2, UNHQ in New York
Friday 24 March
10:00 – 13:00: Interactive Dialogue #5 
Water Action Decade: Accelerating the implementation of the objectives of the Decade, including through the UN Secretary-General’s Action Plan 👉 Find out more

11:00 – 12:15: Science-based global water assessment
ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQ in New York 👉 Find out more

WFEO – ISC Side-Event at UN 2023 Water Conference

“The Role of the Science and Technology (S&T) Community on the Pillars for Accelerating Progress and Transformative Actions on SDG 6” | 23 March

14:00 EST | 18:00 UTC

The ISC Delegation and Community at the UN 2023 Water Conference

Anne-Sophie Stevance

Senior Science Officer

Anda Popovici

Science Officer

James Waddell

Science & Communications Officer

Anthony “Bud” Rock

Senior Advisor

The ISC has a large and engaged delegation of Members at the UN Water Conference. This representation of ISC Members from the scientific community will be crucial for a successful conference and follow-up actions. More than 40 delegates, from ISC Members, Affiliated Bodies and partners, as well as individual scientists, are part of this community.

Discover the ISC staff present on-site, the ISC Expert Group on Water, and other experts from the ISC community in our Talent Book for the Conference.

Talent Book: the ISC at the UN 2023 Water Conference

Get acquainted with some of the key people from the ISC community attending the UN 2023 Water Conference.

For any interview or media queries, please contact James Waddell at using the subject line “Media query”.

Virtual events and resources from the ISC community at the Water Conference:

📽️ The Global Commission on the Economics of Water has released a series of videos on the upcoming release of their report “Turning the Tide: A Call to Collective Action”. 

📼 The Global Commission on the Economics of Water (GCEW) will hold a Special Event at the UN 2023 Water Conference on The Economics of Water: transforming governance to secure a sustainable, just and prosperous future which will be broadcast live on UN Web TV.

📅 Register for a webinar on Sustainable Water Engineering Bringing Together the Global Community held by the International Association for Hydro-Environment Engineering and Research on 21 March 2023.

📰 A Special Issue in the Water Alternatives journal based on research from the Transformations to Groundwater Sustainability project from the Transformations to Sustainability programme.

📅 Register for the International Water Association’s Webinar on Resilient and Inclusive Sanitation in combatting Climate Change Events and Extremities, held on 21 March 2023.

📅 Register for the International Water Association’s Webinar on Communicating water: a game-changer for acceleration and innovation, held on 21 March 2023.

📅 Register for a roundtable co-hosted by the International Water Association on Empowering Women, Youth and Indigenous Persons to Accelerate Global Water Security in the Water Action Decade, on 22 March 2023 

Image by the United States Geological Survey on Unsplash.

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