In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution “International Decade (2018–2028) for Action – Water for Sustainable Development” to help put a greater focus on water during ten years.
Emphasizing that water is critical for sustainable development and the eradication of poverty and hunger, UN Member States expressed deep concern over the lack of access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene and over water related disasters, scarcity and pollution being exacerbated by urbanization, population growth, desertification, drought and climate change.
The new Decade will focus on on the sustainable development and integrated management of water resources for the achievement of social, economic and environmental objectives and on the implementation and promotion of related programmes and projects, as well as on the furtherance of cooperation and partnership at all levels in order to help to achieve internationally agreed water-related goals and targets, including those contained in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In the resolution, UN Member States invited the Secretary-General, with the support of UN-Water, to take appropriate steps, within existing resources, to plan and organize the activities of the Decade at the global, regional and country levels. To set the agenda in motion, UN-Water, in its 26th meeting in Geneva in February 2017, decided on the establishment of a Task Force to facilitate its support to the planning and organisation.
The Decade will commence on World Water Day 22 March 2018, and terminate on World Water Day, 22 March 2028.