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Promoting INBO's priorities at the 2nd ever UN Conference on water since 1977!

Updated on 21 April 2023 - Find in our report all the key messages, commitments and recommendations carried by INBO during the UN 2023 Water Conference's debates on the stakes of water management by and for the basins, in a context of climate change and increased pressure on the resource.





"INBO is strongly committed, together with all its members and partners, to make the March 2023 United Nations Water Conference a historic opportunity to accelerate initiatives for a more efficient and fair management of water resources worldwide. In particular, we believe that basin organizations have an active role to play in better sharing and planning the sustainable use of water resources. Faced with increasing pressures - climate change, demography, urbanization - basin organizations can bring collective strategies, shared information systems, operational solidarity between water users and the consideration of aquatic ecosystems."

Eric Tardieu, INBO Secretary General.


Following the Mar del Plata Conference in 1977, this event represented a rare, unique moment in the history of the international water community! We were therefore fully committed to getting people talking about basins, and above all demonstrating that “through basins and for basins” we can achieve the sustainable development goals more quickly, in particular Goal 6 on water. The conclusions of COP 27 in November 2022 have already confirmed that supporting basin organisations with a clear mandate, adequate human and financial resources and effective governance means securing access to water resources for all.

INBO was present in New York to convey the voice of basin organizations through 13 interactive sessions. This major event was an opportunity to participate in constructive meetings and to renew physical dialogues with the whole water community.

The UN 2023 Water Conference consisted of an opening and closing ceremony, six plenary meetings and five multi-stakeholder interactive dialogues. The five interactive dialogues focused on the following themes:

  • 1 : Water for Health: Access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation (SDG 6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 17); 
  • 2 : Water for 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 and Water Across the 2030 Agenda (SDG 6.5, 6.b and SDG 16, 17); 
  • 5 : Water Action Decade: Accelerating the implementation of the objectives of the Decade including through the UN SG’s Action Plan. 


 INBO promoted its initiatives registered as commitments on the Water Action Agenda on the occasion of this Conference and in relation with these interactive dialogues: 

The Dakar Action Plan is also a registered commitment on the UN platform: find it here.

The United Nations Conference on the midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the goals of the International Decade of Action on "Water for Sustainable Development", 2018-2028, or "United Nations Water Conference 2023", will be held in New York, 22-24 March 2023, in accordance with UN General Assembly resolutions 73/226 and 75/212.  Key outcomes of the UN Water Conference 2023 will include the Water Agenda - a set of voluntary commitments by governments and stakeholders to accelerate implementation to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6 and other water-related goals and targets.

INBO is also a partner in the following commitments:


    INBO is pleased to have been able to bring its values to the forefront of the international scene: the cooperation issues, which are the basis of Integrated Water Resources Management, were predominant during the exchanges organized within this historical conference.

    At the end of the discussions, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for water, "the most precious common good", to be "at the centre of the world's political agenda" and announced that the appointment of a special envoy on water was being considered, a measure that could open up prospects for strengthening international cooperation on this vital resource.

    Find the sessions' programs, pictures and videos by clicking on "Program" on the left.


    INBO's main events

    Wednesday 22 March

    Sustainability in good governance of groundwater resources

    Organized with Morocco.

    Partners: French government, Senegalese government, Spanish government, Finnish government, Swiss government,
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Water Resources Association (IWRA), Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), Gambia River Basin Development Organisation (OMVG), Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)

    Master of ceremony 

    • Dr. Eric Tardieu, Secretary General of the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), Secretary General of the International Water Resources Association (IWRA)


    • Ms. Alice Aureli,  Chief Groundwater Systems and Water for Human Settlements, UNESCO (UNESCO-IHP)

    Keynote speaker

    • Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water of the Kingdom of Morocco, President of the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)


    • Ms. María Alexandra Moreira Lopez, Secretary General, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)
    • Mr Jean Pierre Elong Mbassi, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments Africa (UCLG-Africa)  
    • Ms. Neeta Pokhrel, Chief of Water Sector Group, Asian Development Bank (ADB)
    • Ms. Johanna Sumuvuori, Deputy Foreign Minister and State Secretary, Finland
    • H.E. Hani Sewilam, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt
    • Ms. Sandrine Rocard, Director General, Seine-Normandy Basin Agency (AESN)
    • Mr. Nabil Ben Khatra, Executive Secretary, Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS)


    • Ms. Alice Aureli,  Chief Groundwater Systems and Water for Human Settlements, UNESCO (UNESCO-IHP)
    • Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Equipment and Water of the Kingdom of Morocco, President of the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)

    PDF Program

    Nature as the whole of society solutions

    Organized with The Nature Conservancy, WWF, IUCN, World Water Council, CEOWM, Veolia, ABI

    Partners: France, Zambia, Vietnam, USA

    Welcome Remarks, Statement of Purpose

    • Ms Astrid Schomaker, Director for Green Diplomacy And Multilateralism

    Keynote on NBS: what, why, where

    • Dr David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity – confirmed IUCN  

    Panel 1 | Enabling conditions for NBS investment 

    • Moderator: Sarah Davidson, WWF
    • Eng. Kenneth Nyundu, Director General WARMA, Zambia 
    • Eng Michael Thuita, MBS. CEO, Athi Water Works Development Agency, Ministry of Water Sanitation & Irrigation of Kenya
    • US Government – Assistant Secretary Medina OAS and State Dept, Special Envoy for Water & Biodiversity
    • Mr Sergio Campos, Head of Division Chief-Water and Sanitation, IDB

    Panel 2 | Locally-led NBS Catchment Initiatives 

    • Moderator: Gregg Brill, Senior Researcher and Technical Lead, CEOWM 
    • Ms Andréa Borges, ESG Program Manager from Consórcio PCJ, Brazil
    • Mr. Patrick Lecante, President of the Water and Biodiversity Committee of French Guiana 
    • Ms Louise Stafford, South Africa Director, The Nature Conservancy
    • Mr Andre Fourie, Global Vice President, Sustainability, ABInbev
    • Mr Pierre-Yves Pouliquen, SVP Sustainable development and Multifaceted performance, Veolia 

    Closing remarks 

    • Mr Loïc Fauchon, World Water Council President

    PDF Program

     Integrated water resources management at basin level: benefits of this nexus approach to accelerate the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals

    Organized with France (Ministry for the ecological transition and territorial cohesion and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs)

    Partners: Senegal (Ministry of Water and Sanitation), Morocco (Ministry of Equipment and Water), Estonia (Ministry of the Environment), Switzerland (Federal Department of Foreign AffairsOFEVFederal government of the Swiss Confederation), Spain (Ministry of the Ecological Transition), Bolivia (Ministerio de Ambiente), Burkina Faso (both the Ministry of Environment, Energy, Water and Sanitation & the Permanent Secretary for IWRM), Chad (Ministry of Urban and Rural Hydraulics), Finland (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry), Ghana (Water Resources Commission), Guinea Bissau (Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy), Lesotho (Ministry of Water), Malta (Energy and Water Agency), Romania (National Administration “Romanian Waters” / "Apele Romane"), Slovenia (Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning), Togo (Ministry of Water and Village Hydraulics), Tunisia (Ministry of Agriculture, Hydraulic Resources and Fisheries), Turkey (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry), Azerbaijan (Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources), Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), European Commission (DG-INTPA), International Commission for Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR), International Commission of the Congo-Oubangui-Sangha Basin (CICOS), International Meuse Commission (IMC), Komati Basin Water Authority (KOBWA), Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basin Authority, Lake Tanganyika Authority (LTA), Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC), Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRC), Mono Basin Authority (ABM), Niger Basin Authority (NBA), Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM), Organization for the Development of the Gambia River Basin (OMVG), Organization for the Development of the 18. Senegal River Basin (OMVS), Volta Basin Authority (VBA), Zambezi River Authority (ZRA), Water Basin Agency Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundiaí basins (PCJ), Brazil, The Bridge Tank, Initiative pour l'Avenir des Grands Fleuves (IAGF), World Water Council (WWC ; World Water Forum editions organizer), Global Water Partnership (GWP), UNECE.


    • Dr. Eric Tardieu, Secretary General, International Network of Basin Organizations


    • Mr. Olivier Thibault, Head of Water and Biodiversity, Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, France

    Keynote speaker

    • Mr. Loïc Fauchon, President, World Water Council (WWC)

    Panel 1: How is IWRM contributing to implement SDGs, through cross-sectoral integration?

    • Mr. Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Republic of Senegal
    • Mr. Nizar Baraka, Minister of Water and Equipment of the Kingdom of Morocco, President of the International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)
    • Mr. Mario Botion, President, Consórcio PCJ (Intermunicipal Consortium of the Piracicaba, Capivari and Jundia River Basins), Brazil 
    • Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun, Chief Executive Officer, Mekong River Commission (MRC)
    • Ms. Birgit Vogel, Executive Secretary, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR)

    Panel 2: How can IWRM and RBO foster climate adaptation?

    • Mr. Teodoro Estrela, General Director of Water, Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, Spain
    • Mr. Abderahim Birémé Hamid, Executive Secretary, Niger Basin Authority (NBA)
    • Mr. André Viola, Adour-Garonne Basin Committee, France
    • Mr. Daouda Samba Sow, Secretary General, Organization for the Development of the Gambia River (OMVG)
    • Ms. Dinara Ziganshina, Head of Scientific Information Center of the Interstate Commission for Water of Central Asia (SIC ICWC)


    • Dr. Eric Tardieu, Secretary General, International Network of Basin Organizations

    PDF Program


    Thursday 23 March 

     Committing to advance transboundary water cooperation worldwide for sustainable development, climate action, stability and peace

    Organized with UNECE and Slovenia.


    • H.E. Mr. Uroš Brežan, Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning, Slovenia

    Presentation of the Transboundary Water Cooperation Coalition

    • Mr. Christian Frutiger, Assistant Director General, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Switzerland 

    Panel 1: advancing transboundary water cooperation through legal and institutional means, and data, information, knowledge and technical support

    • H.E. Ms. Maisa Rojas Corradi, Minister of Environment, Chile
    • H.E. Mr. Sam Cheptoris, Minister of Water and Environment, Uganda
    • H.E. Ms. Bérangère Couillard, Secretary of State in charge of Ecology, Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion, France
    • Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director Green Diplomacy and Multilateralism, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission 
    • Ms. Francesca Bernardini, Chief of Transboundary Cooperation, United Nations Economic Commission for Economic Cooperation (UNECE)
    • Mr. Phetsamone Khanophet, Director of Environmental Management Division, Mekong River Commission (MRC)
    • Ms. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Geneva Water Hub. Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva


    • Mr. Sergio Campos, Division Chief, Water and Sanitation Division, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB)

    Panel 2: advancing transboundary water cooperation through capacity development and funding and financing

    • H.E. Ms. Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland
    • Mr. Mourad Wahba, Officer in Charge, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
    • Mr. Abderahim Birémé Hamid, Executive Secretary, Niger Basin Authority (NBA) 
    • Ms. Eileen Burke, Global Lead for Water Resources Management, World Bank
    • Mr. Eric Tardieu, Secretary General, International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO)
    • Mr. Eddy Moors, Rector, IHE Delft Institute for Water Education


    • Mr. Xing Qu, Deputy Director-General, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    PDF Program


    INBO's interventions in partners sessions

    Tuesday 21 March

    Water Sustainability by Water-Energy-Food nexus with multisector participation

    Organized by Consorcio PCJ

    Wednesday 22 March

    Incorporating non-conventional water resources into Integrated Water Resources Management

    Organized by Spain

    Thursday 23 March 

    Cooperation and social participation for water management

    Organized by Consorcio PCJ

    Water for nature, Nature for Water: Policies, solutions and commitments for sustainable development

    Organized by International Association for Water Law (AIDA)

    Water security and Peace building in Africa: challenges and opportunities for African basin organizations

    Organized by RAOB

    Achieving a balance between protection and development - Water for rural prosperity

    Organized by GWP China

    "BALI 2024: On the road to the 10th World Water Forum

    Organized by the World Water Council

    Friday 24 March

    Localising the Blue Economy: A city-basin Approach

    Organized by the OECD

    Summary of the session provided by the OECD

    China-Europe Water Platform - how can cooperation between regions improve the implementation of the SDG6 and contribute to the UN Water Decade?

    Organized by People’s Republic of China

    A city-basin approach to water security in Africa: Solutions and commitments

    Organized by the OECD

    Summary of the session provided by the OECD