UN General Assembly has been bold and ambitious: now is the time for real action
Today we celebrate! 25 September will go down as a momentous occasion in history as the United Nations Member States commit to changing our world over the next 15 years. Today the new, sustainable development framework has been decided through the adoption of the Global Goals. There is no doubt that humanity in the future will look back to this ambitious decision and say ‘yes, we were right!’. End Water Poverty, a coalition of over 340 organisations worldwide working to end the water and sanitation crisis, welcomes the decision taken today by the UN General Assembly to push for a transformation of our future.
The successful inclusion of WASH as a priority
We applaud that water, sanitation and hygiene have been given prominence and priority, through Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all. Water, sanitation and hygiene underpin life, and are central and critical to sustainable economic and social development, as well as ensuring environmental sustainability. We therefore welcome the explicit mention of the need to realise the human right to water and sanitation. Now is the time for action and to ensure no one is left behind.
MDGs progress and we can’t make the same mistakes
Over the past years, civil society movements have campaigned for a post-2015 world that sees the end of inherent inequalities; through the global goals, we can achieve this. The previous development framework, through the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs), helped to make broad progress on improving access to water and sanitation. However, this progress was not targeted at those most in need, the vulnerable and marginalised, and failed to address large gaps in access. There are still 650 million people who do not have access to water, with over 2.4 billion people still lack improved sanitation facilities.
"The global crisis of water and sanitation is not caused by scarcity or population size. It is a political crisis, of unequal and unfair distribution determined by money, power and influence. This needs to change”, Al-Hassan Adam, International Coordinator of End Water Poverty
We need to learn from the MDGs and transform the current ‘business as usual’; the future cannot simply work to address the unfinished business of the past. The new global development agenda post 2015 must be for the people, and owned by the people. Now is the time for ‘business unusual’!
The way forward
The hard work is not yet over; setting national level plans to realise the Global Goals will be essential to achieving the revolution we need.
The only way to make the goals an achievable global reality for all is to have effective, inclusive indicators with disaggregated data that can be monitored. Yes, the Global Goals set an ambitious agenda, but it is possible to realise these dreams; implementing progressive plans, with effective monitoring systems will be of critical importance for national governments to be able to achieve the goals. End Water Poverty members across Asia, Africa, Americas and Europe, will be engaging with national governments to ensure plans and indicators are implemented to progressively realise and monitor the goals. We must seize this opportunity to invest in water, sanitation and hygiene, and ensure access for all, prioritising the most vulnerable and marginalised.
Together we can!
There is much work ahead, but together, across sectors and with all stakeholders, we will successfully realise a sustainable future. People power and partnerships will be critical for a revolution. Change must not just be on paper - the global goals must be achieved.
The Global Goals are our roadmap to transformation. We must ensure the human right to water and sanitation is realised for all. There is an urgency to prioritise improving and transforming people’s lives, with no one left behind, and the time is now. We cannot wait to act until 2030. Our members are ready to join hands with national governments to design national implementations plans which are feasible and budgeted for, and shifting the development model. We stand united for a truly different future.
Download the poster and show your support of Goal 6: 'I support goal 6!'