Land & Water

FAO Side Event "National Water Roadmaps towards the 2030 Agenda" at the UN 2023 Water Conference

Date: 22 March 2023

Timing: 18:30-19:45 (EST)

Format: onsite (Conference Room 8, UN headquarters, New York) and online

Interpretation will be available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.


Water is central to agriculture that accounts for 72% of global freshwater withdrawals, to other economic sectors and to the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. Governments and other stakeholders have acknowledged that water, sanitation, health, ecosystems, oceans, energy, food systems and nutrition are interlinked and that the rising trend of losses caused by water-related disasters must be addressed, with particular attention paid to people in vulnerable situations. 

While there is increasing awareness of the importance of water to achieve all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), there is still a need for more effective, integrated and coordinated actions, coupled with strong, coherent and explicit integration and prioritization of water into national sustainable development strategies, policies and investment plans.

In this context, as proposed by FAO and endorsed in the Dushanbe Declaration, a country-led water dialogue and country-owned National Water Roadmaps or strategies will help to strengthen the inter-sectoral coordination on sustainable water resources management and accelerate the implementation of SDG 6 as well as the 2030 Agenda. FAO is supporting Member countries, upon request, in the development of country-specific National Water Roadmaps through country-led dialogues and participatory processes.


This Side Event on National Water Roadmaps will provide a platform for highlighting the central leadership role of national government in water governance, sharing information about the National Water Roadmaps for all SDGs and discussing the country-owned development process of national water roadmaps supported by FAO, UN-Water and others.  

The National Water Roadmaps initiative is strongly related to the Interactive Dialogue on ‘Water for Sustainable Development’, and countries are encouraged to elaborate such national Roadmaps as voluntary commitments to the Water Action Agenda.

The side event will be organized in-person at the UN Headquarters.


Moderator: Mr Máximo Torrero, Chief Economist, FAO

18:30-18:45 (EST)

Introduction, Mr Máximo Torrero, FAO

Welcome Remarks

  • Dr QU Dongyu, Director-General, FAO
  • Ms Nathalie Olijslager, Programme Director, UN 2023 Water Conference, on behalf of Co-host countries



Keynote Presentation "National Water Roadmaps towards the 2030 Agenda

Mr Lifeng Li, Director, Land and Water Division, FAO



National Perspectives on National Water Roadmap

Moderator: Mr Máximo Torrero, FAO

  • H.E. Dr. LI Guoying, Minister for Water Resources, China
  • H.E. Dr. Ing Habtamu Itefa, Minister for Water and Energy, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • H.E. Dr. Anxious Jonge Masuka, Minister for Land, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, Climate and Rural Development, Zimbabwe
  • Ms Jaana Husu-Kallio, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland

Other interventions:

Moderator: Dr Mark Smith, Director General, International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

  • Mr Matt Dadswell, First Assistant Secretary (Water Division), Department of Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, Australia
  • Mr Andrew Roby, Senior Water Adviser, Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, United Kingdom
  • Mr Joaquin Escheval, Chair of California Water Board, USA
  • Ms Najat Mokhtar, Deputy Director General and Head of the Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, President, Women for Water Partnership
  • Dr LI Yuanyuan, President of International Water Resources Association (IWRA)



Q&A Session




Mr Lifeng Li, FAO




Mr Máximo Torrero, FAO