The Dushanbe Process: Supporting The Decade For Action On Water

The Next Stop On The "Road To New York"

26 Apr 2022 by The Water Diplomat
DUSHANBE, Tajikistan

The Second International Conference on Water for Sustainable Development will take place in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, from 6-9 June 2022.

The Dushanbe process is an initiative of the government of Tajikistan as initiator of the International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development (2018 – 2028), which was subsequently approved through a resolution of the UN General Assembly in November 2016.

This decision led to the hosting of high-level conferences in Dushanbe, which act as a platform for stakeholders to discuss how to achieve the objectives of the Decade - including the achievement of SDG 6 and other water related goals.

Within the government of Tajikistan, the Prime Minster leads an Organising Committee that receives input from an International Advisory Committee of eminent experts and major groups on the format of the conferences.

The first Dushanbe Water Conference was held in 2018. All UN member states and international financial institutions were invited to participate in the water dialogue and make commitments during the decade, catalysing partnerships and actions at different levels.

The Dushanbe conference was to have been held biannually, but because of Covid-19, work on the second conference was postponed until 2021. In March 2021, it was determined that the second Dushanbe conference would include assessment of the impact of the global pandemic as well as the adoption of the Global Acceleration Framework (GAF) for SDG 6, adopted in 2020.

The UN General Assembly resolution on the 2023 UN conference specifically mentions the Dushanbe conference process as a milestone on the “Road to New York”. Not only is the UN conference in New York historical in that it is the first water conference at UN level since the Mar del Plata conference in 1977, but it coincides with the midterm review of progress on SDG 6. The Dushanbe process has therefore become a key step in the preparations of the conference in New York.   

Thematically, the second Dushanbe conference is organised into four blocks:

  • Water for Health and People
  • Water for Livelihoods and Inclusive Economic Growth
  • Water for Environment and Climate Resilience
  • Knowledge, Communication and Partnerships.

The Dushanbe process is to host six additional platforms which were not originally part of the original planning process. This approach enables different groups such as a regional forum, womens’ groups, youth, local communities and indigenous peoples, mountain areas (water towers), and the private sector, to contribute to the call for action from their particular perspective.

It is expected that by mid-May 2021, the detailed programme will be completed and will be available.

For most sessions, there is a request to accommodate high ranking officials who can lend weight to the deliberations.

In the meantime, a team is working on the zero draft of the Dushanbe outcome document which will be shared amongst the members of the International Advisory Committee and the Steering Committee before sharing a final draft version with member states by mid-May.

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