On February 26th the European “SDG6 NGO/CSO Meeting” took place in Bremen, Germany. During this gathering, WYPW’s VP Susanne Reitsma participated to discuss and see how to coordinate, cooperate and use the collective strength of NGOs and CSOs to further the cause of Water & Sanitation within the EU after a year full of developments and the establishment of the SDGs.
Four topics were taken as a framework: 1) the European Union water Initiative and ENECE matters, 2) Human Rights to safe water & sanitation, 3) (UN) International Architecture Water and lastly 4) the #ClimateIsWater campaign. The day started off with several presentations on all matters in a plenary setting, followed by a break out in groups, each focusing on one of the four issues.
During these group discussions, the participants discussed how to improve cooperation between all organizations, as the SDG concept requires new ways of working and coordination: the SDGs are universal and very much linked to each other (new!), meaning that the current approach to W&S needs to change. Every group reviewed the current situation to address needed changes and tried to find solutions for them, even though that is not an easy task.
Many steps will need to be taken to substantially improve the coordination, starting with a joint approach of Civil Society. Also, even though we now have SDG6, there yet are no tools or policies to implement or monitor the goals. For Europe, this means that there is still a major task to fulfill in order to actually reach the goals in 2030.
The participating organizations will continue their cooperation online in small-scale groups and plan to organise a second meeting soon to further develop the common strategy. So stay tuned for updates!
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