New York City | Photo by Matt Newton

Tuesday, March 21

Water, Youth, and Heritage Dialogue: Connecting Past, Present, and Future

9:00am—1:00pm
Center for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Public Space
500 West 120th Street, Room 706
New York City

Young people are the owners of the future. They are key to connecting the past, present, and future. This event gathers participants of different ages and backgrounds for an intergenerational dialogue on youth’s demands and dreams regarding Water, Heritage, and Youth. This event aims to gather input from the speakers and the audience to work towards a youth statement on water and heritage and enable representatives from younger generations to have the floor during an international conference together with respected water and heritage officials. Together we will envision the road from ideas to meaningful action.

Wednesday, March 22

Reflections on Women, Water, Culture, and Education: Past, Present, and Future

1:30—2:45pm
Columbia University
New York City

Women leaders are needed at all levels of society, in water utilities, government water agencies, and international and regional water institutions to reduce the democratic gender deficit in water leadership. And safe water and sanitation are critical for getting girls to school and educating them to become leaders.

Friday, March 24

Resilience Tour of Hunter’s Point South: Waterfront Development that Stands the Test of Time

9:45—11:15am
East River Ferry, 34th St. Dock
New York City

Join the Waterfront Alliance for a close-up look at successful, climate-resilient, and responsible waterfront development. Long Island City’s Hunter’s Point South park, directly across the East River from the United Nations Headquarters, is a stunning example of successful public-private partnerships that support resilience, ecology, and access along the waterfront. Waterfront Alliance’s tour of the park discusses how various features protect the Long Island City waterfront neighborhood and how the park, which was financed by the developments that surround it, came into existence.

Friday, March 24

A City-Basin Approach to Water Security in Africa: Solutions and Commitments

2:00—3:15pm
UN Headquarters, Room CR4
New York City

While the role of African cities in water management has evolved in recent years towards ensuring access to water and sanitation services, national-local coordination challenges at the basin scale remain. According to the OECD report on Water Governance in African Cities, 42% of 36 African cities surveyed are part of a river basin organization. In the absence of integrated basin governance systems, the mismatch between hydrological and administrative boundaries can lead to competition between water uses and hinder the effectiveness of service delivery.

Local governments will “make or break” the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on “Clean water and sanitation for all” in Africa, but they cannot do it alone. Effective multi-level governance is needed to manage water at the appropriate functional and territorial scale(s), within integrated basin governance systems to enhance rural-urban linkages and develop place-based solutions that reflect local conditions. This session will gather national government representatives, mayors and governors, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, multi-lateral banks and philanthropic organizations to contribute to the Water Action Agenda through the Action Plan of Mayors, Local and Regional Governments for Water Security adopted by the OECD/UCLG-Africa Roundtable of African Mayors for Water Security, which proposes 12 concrete actions for local and regional governments to drive water security at all levels. It will provide a platform for African leaders to voice their commitment towards the implementation of the Action Plan based on the OECD Principles on Water Governance towards better water security.

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Reflections from the 2024 Gala