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Latin American and Caribbean Countries Reaffirm their Commitment to the Regional Water Action Agenda

13 March 2024|News

The Regional Water Dialogues 2024 concluded today in Costa Rica, having drawn the participation of more than 1,000 people from 37 countries in the region and the world.

With the participation of more than 1,000 people in-person and online, from 37 countries in the region and the world, the fourth edition of the Regional Water Dialogues in Latin America and the Caribbean 2024 concluded today in Costa Rica, with the delegates in attendance reaffirming their commitment to the goals of the Regional Water Action Agenda, approved in 2023.

This Agenda summarizes the main voluntary commitments and courses of action agreed upon by Latin American and Caribbean countries for furthering and accelerating effective progress on implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 in the region, which seeks to “ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all,” during the second half of the United Nations Decade for Action on Water 2018-2028.

The three-day event – which was organized by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) – brought together government authorities, Ministers and Deputy Ministers, and more than a hundred representatives from 18 countries in the region, from the public and private sectors, international organizations, development banks, academia and civil society. They engaged in an intensive exchange of knowledge and experiences, and analyzed the progress and challenges related to the attainment of SDG 6 in our region, stressing the critical role of water in sustainable development.

At the event’s eight sessions, participants addressed issues such as the importance of water in agriculture and ecosystems; the role of water in countries’ productive development; the relevance of transboundary waters for management, cooperation and the attainment of peace; the perspective of Latin America and the Caribbean ahead of the World Water Forum 2024 (which will take place in Bali, Indonesia); the relationship between water, health and equity, which are key elements for achieving the 2030 Agenda; water security and climate resilience: contributions and experiences of the Network and Observatory for Water Sustainability (ROSA); circular economy opportunities in the sanitation sector, with a view to establishing a Roadmap for Latin America and the Caribbean; and progress and challenges in relation to the valuation of water in the region.

Participating in the closing session were Fernando Schwanke, Project Director at IICA; Silvia Saravia Matus, ECLAC’s Economic Affairs Officer in charge of water issues; and Lloyd C. Day, Deputy Director General of IICA.

They all emphasized the success of this event, which, along with the other editions of the Regional Water Dialogues that have been held, are important catalysts for action in countries for focusing on the goals and targets of SDG 6 that have yet to be achieved. Furthermore, they thanked the organizers and the authorities who attended in person – particularly those from Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay – along with the participating organizations and the members of the Regional Expert Group on Water Resources.

Finally, they called for continuing to work together to tackle the region’s water challenges, for continuing to collaborate, innovate and share good practices to guarantee equitable and sustainable access to water for all in Latin America and the Caribbean, and thereby build a more prosperous and sustainable future for communities and the next generations.