WaterAid reacts to ‘zero draft’ of UN Sustainable Development framework

  • SDGs map out development, aim to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030

  • Draft will be debated, signed by 193 UN member-states

New Delhi: WaterAid India welcomes the retention of the dedicated goal on water and sanitation in the ‘zero draft’ of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Framework but warned the right to water and sanitation should be included to ensure everyone, everywhere gets access.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will replace and build on the UN’s current Millennium Development Goals at the end of 2015, aim to eradicate extreme poverty and commit all nations to sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development and environmental protection for all people, everywhere.

Mamata Dash, Manager – Campaigns and Rights, Equity & Inclusion, WaterAid India, said:

We at WaterAid India are encouraged to see the retention of the goal on water and sanitation as they are the basic foundation for all development. However, the goal needs to be looked at from human rights perspective to ensure sustainable impact.

This is particularly important because 193 UN member-states will soon finalise and sign this huge step for humanity.

We are only concerned that without proper guidelines, it carries the risk of poor implementation and monitoring. Though we have a target to reach everyone everywhere with water, sanitation and hygiene, there are currently no robust indicators to measure the progress and we are hoping that these will be included.

UN member states began work in 2012 to agree a series of Sustainable Development Goals to meet the needs of both the world’s people and the planet.

The Open Working Group on the SDGs, representing 70 UN member-states, worked from January 2013 until July 2014 on a report providing recommendations for these new goals. The report included 17 proposed goals including one dedicated to the sustainable management of water and sanitation.

In December, the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon endorsed these 17 proposed goals.

As the UN enters the last months of negotiation before the goals are finalised at the Heads of State Summit ahead of the UN General Assembly in September 2015, WaterAid and its partner organisations are working to ensure the dedicated goal on water and sanitation is kept in place, and that indicators on water, sanitation and hygiene are included and linked to other goals on health, education and gender.

Toilet Facts

44 per cent of the total population in India still defecate in the open.

Open defecation causes chronic diarrhoea that leads to stunting.