9 Sep, 2013
Ambassador Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, launched a Call to Action on Sanitation on the eve of World Water Day in the presence of leaders of agencies within the UN system, the World Bank, governments, private sector and civil society. Darren Saywell, SWA Vice-Chair, attended the launch and recommended the DSG build on the success and progress of SWA to achieve the goals of this initiative.
With just over a thousand days for action before the 2015 MDG deadline, actors active in the water and sanitation sector took this opportunity to emphasize the scope of the issue, particularly the issue of open defecation. A general call to redoubling efforts to promote sanitation was made and actors agreed that they needed to regard this old problem from a new angle.
Ambassador Eliasson emphasized the key role of the Sanitation and Water for All initiative in putting WASH at the top of the political agenda. Referring to the 2012 High Level Meeting, which gathered finance and development ministers from around the world, he said, “it is one of the best meetings that I can recall”. He also added that mobilization and coordinate efforts would be needed to achieve the goals of this initiative: “nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something […] We must all mobilize to ensure sanitation and water for all” he said.
Darren Saywell took the opportunity to recommend SWA as a key facilitator as SWA has proven capacity to coordinate efforts. SWA’s three way objective of building political engagement at the highest levels; fostering more informed decision making amongst political leaders and targeting Partners support to existing national planning processes could be a real asset to achieve the goals of this initiative and get closer to achieve 2015 MDG in Sanitation.
Watch the video (Jan Eliasson talks about SWA at 25 min)
UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson joined UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, World Bank Group Vice President of Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte, and American Standard Vice President Jim McHale for an online conversation about the economics and politics of sanitation. The conversation took place just one month after the DSG launched his own Call to Action on Sanitation, where he called for an end to open defecation by 2025 and pointed to SWA as a key platform for action. Of the 2012 SWA High Level Meeting, he said it was, “One of the best meetings I can recall” because it involved Finance Ministers and encouraged increasing budgets.
Watch the full conversation (Jan Eliasson talks about SWA at 14:35 min)