International symposium brings systems leaders including 10 ministerial delegations to The Hague to take action on WASH and connected SDGs

IRC WASH Press Release

THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS – 1 MAY 2023 – Between 2-4 May 2023, more than 700 changemakers and systems leaders from water, sanitation and hygiene, health, climate, economic development, and social justice – will gather at the World Forum, The Hague, for the All Systems Connect International Symposium 2023. Those attending include 10 ministerial level delegations from Ethiopia, Guatemala, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, Rwanda and Uganda. The Symposium will prompt systemic thinking, leadership, and action across sectors and silos to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 
The event follows hot on the heels of the UN Water conference in March 2023, providing the ‘how’ to the UN Conference’s ‘why’. The three core themes are systems leadership – leading across boundaries and driving collective action in complex circumstances; connecting across silos and sectors – finding better ways to address shared system challenges, together; and importantly on day three, taking action – making commitments that will accelerate progress and deepen impact to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Throughout, it will highlight the central role of water and sanitation in achieving the SDGs, and the injustice that one in three of the world’s population still lacks access to safe water and sanitation.    Delegates will experience 250+ presenters recognised for their global expertise and influence; 60+ cross-cutting sessions on water, sanitation and hygiene, climate, finance, health and beyond; ten themes crafted to build connection, break silos and generate action; three Make Change design sprints to innovate and prototype solutions along with country dialogues designed to catalyse change.    The Symposium is convened by international think tank IRC, global nonprofit Water For People and Water for Good, a nonprofit with expertise in working in fragile states – members of the One For All global alliance. Multiple stakeholders include UNICEF, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the World Health Organization, Sanitation and Water for All, the Government of the Netherlands, World Vision and the Osprey Foundation.     Patrick Moriarty, CEO, IRC said: “We need to connect across silos and sectors if we’re to tackle the challenges we’re all facing and achieve the SDGs. The issues are complex, but the solutions are there. They lie in strong, interconnected, national and local systems working in co-ordination to deliver crucial public services. All Systems Connect is a determined intervention to change the way we work and look at how to make this happen.”      Samson Bekele, Co-CEO, Water For People, said: “We have less than a decade to ensure that every home has taps and toilets, and every community has safe, continuous and unending water, sanitation and hygiene services. We’re failing in many areas, but we know what’s needed–joint commitments, more funding to the sector, and political will at every level. At All Systems Connect we’ll be uniting to equip ourselves with the skills, know-how and connections to achieve so much more.”     Jon Allen, CEO, Water for Good, added: “We recognise that the current way of doing things in the sector needs to shift to achieve universal and sustainable WASH services. This requires collaborative planning and execution and connecting beyond sectors and silos. The Symposium will enable all of us to connect with purpose, work on collective solutions, and strengthen our capabilities as systems leaders.” said Jon Allen, CEO, Water for Good. 

Author: RWSN Secretariat

RWSN is a global network of rural water supply professionals. Visit to find out more

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