UN World Water Development Report 2023: Partnerships and Cooperation for Water

Posted on: 5/10/2023 - Updated on: 5/10/2023

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Cooperation is critical to achieving all water-related goals and targets. At current rates, progress towards SDG 6 is off-track. The 2023 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR) describes how building partnerships and enhancing cooperation across all dimensions of sustainable development are essential to accelerating progress towards all the targets of SDG 6 and realizing the human rights to water and sanitation.

Partnerships and cooperation take place in almost any water-related endeavour and water resources management has a long history of experience with partnerships, both good and bad. This report reviews this experience, highlighting how enhancing positive and meaningful cooperation amongst the water, sanitation and broader ‘development’ communities is required to accelerate progress.

This report also addresses how the water and sanitation community can internally collaborate more effectively by maximizing complementarity, as well as reach out to other sectors and realms of decision-making where water plays a critical (but often times misunderstood or ignored) role in meeting their own objectives and amplifying co-benefits.

Safeguarding water, food and energy security through sustainable water management, providing water supply and sanitation services to all, supporting human health and livelihoods, mitigating the impacts of climate change and extreme events, and sustaining and restoring ecosystems and the valuable services they provide, are all pieces of a great and complex puzzle.

Only through partnerships and cooperation can the pieces come together. And everyone has a role to play.


United Nations, The United Nations World Water Development Report 2023: Partnerships and Cooperation for Water. UNESCO, Paris. ISBN 978-92-3-100576-3. https://www.unwater.org/publications/un-world-water-development-report-….

Affiliated Organizations

UN-Water coordinates the United Nations’ work on water and sanitation. There is no single United Nations Agency, Fund or Programme dedicated exclusively to water issues. In fact, over 30 United Nations organizations carry out water and sanitation programmes because these issues run through all of the United Nations’ main focus areas.  UN-Water is a ‘coordination mechanism’. It is comprised of United Nations entities (Members) and international organizations (Partners) working on water and sanitation issues.

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO promotes knowledge sharing and the free flow of ideas to accelerate mutual understanding and a more perfect knowledge of each other's lives. UNESCO's programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.