Khudair Abbas Al-Dhulaimi / Researcher
In the declaration of sustainable development in 2015, when the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted the Sustainable Development Plan for 2030 with its 17 goals, 169 targets, and 2231 indicators, it was stated: “We aspire to a world where human rights, human dignity, rule of law, justice, equality, and non-discrimination are respected. A world where race, ethnic origin, and cultural diversity are respected. A just and equitable world, tolerant and open, where no societies are left behind, and where the needs of the most vulnerable groups are met.” This plan aims to guide global and national development policies and to provide new options and opportunities to bridge the gap between human rights and development. It forms a general framework that guides global and national development efforts.
The sixth Sustainable Development Goal, entitled “Clean Water and Sanitation,” aims to ensure the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. The goal includes sub-objectives such as drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, wastewater, water quality, World Water Day, water use efficiency, World Toilet Day, water stress management, cross-border cooperation, ecosystem systems, and international cooperation. Despite increased access to clean water in recent decades, population growth and climate change threaten to exacerbate water scarcity in many countries. Since the 1960s, about two-thirds of countries have experienced an increase in water stress. The Sustainable Development Plan for 2030 includes a commitment to participate in systematic monitoring and review of progress towards desired goals and targets using a set of relevant global indicators.
The United Nations collaborates with the Iraqi government and other national partners through the Joint Strategic Framework of the United Nations, under the umbrella of the Iraqi Vision 2030 and national transformation programs, to support the achievement of sustainable development goals by addressing the challenges and opportunities of development in Iraq, which is facing several crises, including the water pollution crisis resulting from various factors such as industrial and population pollution, whether intentional or due to negligence and weak oversight by health and environmental institutions.
The World Bank identified the water stress rate in Iraq in 2020 at around 80%, which is a very high percentage, exacerbating Iraq’s exposure to the crisis of drought and water scarcity due to climate change and arbitrary actions by riparian states in releasing agreed water shares and diverting the course of several rivers. This has led to a severe exacerbation of the water crisis, negatively impacting the agricultural, health, and environmental reality of Iraqi society, foremost among them being the problem of pollution of drinking water, which threatens the collapse of the ecosystem and environmental diversity.

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