2023 UN Water Conference - Side Event - Sparing water systems in armed conflicts


11:00-12:15 EST/GMT+5
UN HQ, Conference Room 6
405 E 42nd St, New York



You can access the recording of the event below.

The Follow-up to the United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028 document can be found below.



A report released in 2017 revealed that nearly 180 million people are affected by the destruction, damage, and misuse of water systems,  with the number expected to increase by 2023. In fragile and conflict-affected areas, 210 million children, mainly residing in urban areas, do not have access to safe drinking water.  Attacks on water systems deprive people of adequate drinking water and increase the risk of public health hazards. The interconnected nature of systems means that the impacts of such attacks go beyond the target and affect other connected systems, including power supply, health facilities, education, and the economy. The persistent negative consequences of these attacks leave too many people behind, with devastating effects, particularly for those who continue to suffer from waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea. These impacts highlight the urgent need for action.

General objective of the event

The main objective of the event is to promote and support the adoption of commitments on the protection of water systems during armed conflicts by states and other actors at the 2023 UN Water Conference.
The specific aims include: 

  • To raise awareness on the impacts of attacks or damages to water systems, 
  • To test the merits of the existing legal and policy and legal responses, 
  • To identify better ways to advance the protection of water systems, and 
  • To call for the creation of an alliance of states and interested stakeholders to ensure better protection of water systems during armed conflicts.

Below is the full programme.

The flyer of the event is available below.