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Celebrating 10 years of the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: A Private Sector Statement

Neil Dhot, co-representative of the private sector in SWA's Steering Committee
28 Jul 2020

Today is a day to celebrate and thank everyone who is involved in making the human rights to water and sanitation a reality for people across the world. These collective efforts over many years have meant an increasing number of people have access to an affordable, safe, consistent supply of water and adequate sanitation.

The recognition of the rights to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation by the UN General Assembly was a fundamental step forward towards strong political commitment at the international level. 

But as we know, we still have much more to do so that this right is a reality for everyone. Today, billions of people lack access to the water and sanitation services they need. SWA’s private sector partners work side by side with governments, public authorities, and other stakeholders, to try to improve lives in this way. 

We need even stronger multi-stakeholder action partnerships and joint actions that harness diverse expertise, channels, and increase the ability for co-funding and scaling interventions. This has to happen at the international level and all the way down to local.

In particular, we urge governments to join SWA’s Mutual Accountability Mechanism and use its full potential to bring immediate, and longer-term systems change. By enabling collaborative, joint action along with the right levels of accountability we can enable new sustainable, inclusive development pathways to emerge that leave no-one-behind. Large-scale adoption of better water, sanitation and hygiene services require an enabling environment led by governments working with businesses, civil society, and research and learning partners.

SWA’s Private Sector constituency is a broad and diverse group of private sector players from across the world. We have the very latest expertise, knowledge and skills to support multi-stakeholder efforts at regional, national and local level, to deliver on the human rights to water and sanitation. We have a very important role to play.

If a government, regional public authority or stakeholder is considering to work more closely with the private sector to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 6 and realize the human rights to water and sanitation, the SWA’s constituency partners can provide vital assistance.