Sustainable Development Goal 6 is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all. UN-Water coordinates the efforts of over 30 UN entities plus other international organizations who work on water and sanitation issues. Water-related issues run through all of the UN’s main focus areas. UN-Water’s role is to coordinate so that the UN family delivers a coordinated response to water-related challenges.
Water is at the core of sustainable development and is critical for socio-economic development, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself. It is vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, welfare and productivity of populations.
Water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the climate system, human society and the environment. Without proper water governance, there is likely to be increased competition for water between sectors and an escalation of water crises of various kinds, triggering emergencies in a range of water-dependent sectors.
The physical world of water is closely bound up with the socio-political world, with water often a key factor in managing risks such as famine, migration, epidemics, inequalities and political instability.
Every year, UN-Water coordinates the United Nations international observances on freshwater and sanitation. Depending on the official UN theme of the campaign, they are led by one or more UN-Water Members and Partners with a related mandate.