From March 22 to 24, the UN Conference on Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018-2028 (hereinafter referred to as the UN 2023 Water Conference) was held at the United Nations (UN) Headquarters in New York, the United States. Professor Yu Zhongbo was invited to be member of the high-level delegation of the Ministry of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China to attend the conference. He is the chairperson of the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (IHP) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and director of the State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering of Hohai University.
UN 2023 Water Conference was co-sponsored by the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The main agenda included opening and closing ceremonies, plenary meetings, interactive dialogues, and side events. The achievements of the conference would be submitted to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in September 2023. The interactive dialogues of the conference included five themes, namely, Water and Health, Water and Sustainable Development, Water and Climate, Resilience and Environment, Water and Cooperation and Water Action Decade. Among them, the interactive dialogue of water and sustainable development was co-chaired by China and the EU, and attended by a delegation of the Chinese government led by Li Guoying, Minister of Water Resources of the People's Republic of China. The delegation actively performed the duties of the co-chair of the interactive dialogue and worked with all parties to find transformative measures, making positive contributions to solving the water crisis faced by all mankind and promoting the realization of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Joint Laboratory for International Cooperation on Global Change and the Water Cycle of Hohai University participated in hosting the side event on the theme Action Plan for the Development of Individual and Organizational Capacities for a Water and Climate Resilient World on 23 March. In his speech, Yu Zhongbo pointed out that for water resources to be sustainable, it is necessary to invest in capacity development and make the capacity development of individuals and organizations the key to addressing water and climate challenges, especially the education of the next generation of young water scientists and the capacity development of water training centers and networks. As the chair of the water education of the Strategic Plan of the 9th Phase of UNESCO IHP, China has always been in a leading position in the establishment of student scholarships, leadership training and capacity building for young scientists. In the future, China will continue to provide support and strengthen cooperation to accelerate the implementation of actions in water science, water data, water education, water management and water governance. The World Water Development Report 2023 was released during the conference and the science-based world water assessment programme was discussed.