The logo of Sustainable Development Goal 6 of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Water dialogues facilitate long-term results on safe water and sanitation for all

Water Dialogues for Results: Accelerating cross-sectoral SDG 6 implementation 

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)

  • Country


  • Overall term

    2020 to 2023

  • Products and expertise

    Climate, environment, natural resource management

Hands collecting fresh water.


Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG 6) of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to ensure clean drinking water and sanitation for everyone. It is also intended to ensure that water is used in an environmentally friendly manner. To achieve this goal and bring the issue to the fore, the UN has established the International Decade for Action, ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, from 2018 to 2028. This is intended to motivate UN member states to tackle global water-related challenges more effectively with ambitious initiatives. The UN Water Conference held in March 2023 marked the mid-term review of what has been achieved so far.

For many countries in the Global South, it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve SDG 6 by 2030. The slow progress is alarming since water is closely connected to many fields: global health, climate change, agriculture, energy production and intact ecosystems. At the same time, the cross-sectoral ambitions also offer an opportunity to make use of interactions between these fields.


States from all regions of the world and other actors have been mobilised to identify and implement cross-sectoral measures in the water sector.

The logo of the UN 2023 Water Conference, March 2023


In the run-up to the UN Water Conference, dialogues were held by UN member states, international organisations and representatives of various societal groups. They engaged in various dialogue formats and discussed priority measures and requirements for the integrated implementation of SDG 6. A steering committee used this as a basis to develop recommendations for policy action, which were presented at a high-level virtual ministerial conference in July 2021. These recommendations fed into the thematic focus of the UN 2023 Water Conference and are reflected in its conclusions. The policy recommendations made by the UN Water Conference are now to be implemented step by step.

Last update: September 2023

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