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Civil Society Messages for the 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting

Sanitation and Water for All Secretariat
29 Mar 2019
Civil Society Messages for the 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting
Civil Society Organizations in Zambia hold consultations to develop commitments under the Mutual Accountability Mechanism

On 4th and 5th of April 2019, the Sanitation and Water for All is organizing the Sector Ministers’ Meeting, co-convened by UNICEF and the Inter-American Development Bank and hosted by the Government of Costa Rica. Within SWA, Civil Society has an important role to play alongside and in collaboration with governments, donors, and other development partners and stakeholders for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially SDG6.

As the overall theme for 2019 SMM is ‘Leave no one behind’, this presents an opportunity for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) that will be present at the meeting, to bring out the voices of the most marginalized to the Sector Ministers’ Meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica.

CSOs call upon all stakeholders, notably governments, to work together to ensure “for all” is at the forefront of the implementation of SDG strategies. The goal of 'leaving no one behind' is relevant for all countries, developed and developing.

The key messages that will be put forward by CSOs at the 2019 SMM are following:

  • Governments should recognize and implement the human rights to water and sanitation (HRWS) as a framework for the realization of SDG6 include specific policies, standards and targets for the elimination of inequalities.
  • Governments should invest in water, sanitation and hygiene systems as an entry point for improving other public services such as health, education and livelihood.
  • Governments should have clearly defined roles of key actors in line ministries, transparent communication and inter-sector coordination to effectively reach the most marginalized.
  • Development partners and External Support Agencies (ESAs) should provide technical and financial support to governments and CSOs to establish and be part of formal, regular and inclusive multi-stakeholder accountability mechanisms. This would ensure that the public budget allocated for SDG6 includes the most marginalized populations, and is fully spent and effectively utilized.
  • Development partners and ESAs should continue supporting joint government programs such as Sector-Wide approaches (SWAps) and not fall back to only project financing.
  • CSOs should strengthen their own internal and external legitimacy and accountability, to effectively address and respond to the critical challenges that the WASH sector is facing. They must ensure that they truly represent the voice of the most marginalized.

SWA High-level Meetings such as 2019 Sector Ministers’ Meeting mark an important moment for all stakeholders to evaluate progress in the WASH sector and exchange learnings and key challenges for achieving SDGs. Even after the SMM, Civil Society will continue to engage with their governments to ensure those who are left behind must be reached first and that the all the sectors’ actors are mutually accountable for progress

Please find the longer version of the CSO messages in English, Spanish and French, here.