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“Sustain the Spotlight on Water Issues”

- Amb. Fyneah Urges Leaders at UN Water Conference

Liberia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Madam Sarah Safyn Fyneah, is urging the world to sustain the spotlight on water challenges in national, continental, and global forums.

The Liberian Envoy cautioned that the world cannot afford to wait another 50 years to take concrete actions in addressing the severe water-related challenges globally.

Ambassador Fyneah made the call when she addressed, on behalf of His Excellency Dr. George Manneh Weah, President of Liberia, the 2023 United Nations Water Conference. The Conference convened from March 22-24 in New York, nearly 50 years after the last UN Water Conference, with a focus on reviewing the implementation of the objectives of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development” (2018–2028), and identifying ways to accelerate progress towards universal access to safe water and sanitation by 2030.

Ambassador Fyneah encouraged all stakeholders, including Member States and the United Nations, to make intentional and bold efforts to turn the political momentum created by the 2023 Water Conference into tangible and ambitious actions to implement the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation and SDG 6–Clean Water and Sanitation.

The Liberian Diplomat called for enhanced cooperation, partnerships, and solidarity with developing countries, stressing that such partnerships must prioritize assistance through financing, and knowledge and skills sharing, with the aim to accelerate progress towards achieving universal access to safe water and sanitation.

Ambassador Fyneah then reaffirmed the Government of Liberia’s commitment to address challenges that are hindering progress and advance the implementation of existing water-related goals and targets.

Ambassador. Fyneah: “In our national capacity, we will work diligently and strategically to restore existing water infrastructure to its pre-war capacity, address funding constraints, which impact efforts to roll out policies and implement measures to improve access to safe water, basic sanitation and hygiene; and evaluate the efficiency of service delivery. We further commit to undertaking intentional strides to universal access by 2030, to equitable, safe, affordable, and sustainable water supply and sanitation services for all Liberians; to improve monitoring mechanism at national, county, district, and community level to allow for an accurate and coordinated institutional planning and review; as well as to improve our WASH sector by rationalizing its current capacity, to  undertake capacity building and enhance environment for private sector engagement.”

The 2023 Water Conference brought together Heads of State and Government, Ministers, and stakeholders in the WASH sector. Liberia’s delegation to the Conference included Hon. Paulita Wie, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Hon. Eugene Nagbe, Commissioner, Liberia Maritime Authority, Hon. Randall Dobayou, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection Agency, Hon. Bobby Whitfield, Chief Executive Officer, National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Commission, Hon. Jefferson Koijee, Mayor of Monrovia and Hon. Ethel Pam Belcher, Mayor of Paynesville.

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Discussions at the conference focused on five thematic areas including water for health, water for sustainable development, water for climate resilience and environment, water for cooperation and water action decade.

At the end of the conference, participants adopted the Water Action Agenda, which captures all water-related voluntary commitments made by countries and other stakeholders to follow up on their progress.  

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