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UN Panel urges nations to bolster water, sanitation agenda

Souce:Xinhua Publish By Updated 28/11/2012 7:52 am in World / 1 comment


NAIROBI, Nov. 27 — Access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation should be prioritized at senior policy and political echelons to accelerate sustainable development globally, members of the UN Secretary General Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation said on Tuesday.

The panel of eminent persons is holding a high level meeting in Nairobi to review progress countries have made in achieving millennium targets on water and sanitation.

“We are discussing options that would help countries further millennium development goals on water and sanitation and sustain a post 2015 momentum in line with the June Rio + 20 summit declaration,” said the Chair, UN Secretary General Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, Prince of Orange, the Netherlands.

Analysts said in the fast-growing cities of developing countries, urbanization is outpacing the availability of clean water and water sanitation. As a result, slums are growing in size, and human health and the environment face serious risks.

Delegates attending the Nairobi summit proposed innovative financing mechanisms alongside establishment of a progressive legal and policy regime to help countries realize universal access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation.

The Royal Prince of Orange said that improving access to clean drinking water and sanitation is at the heart of sustainable development, gender empowerment, green growth, social and political stability.

“All stakeholders must utilize all points of intervention to ensure that water and sanitation agenda is well reflected in the post 2015 development framework and sustainable development goals, ” the Prince of Orange said.

He told Xinhua that the board will present recommendations to the UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki Moon, outlining interventions that countries should roll out to achieve water and sanitation MDGs.

“We will advise the Secretary General on actions to be taken to help advance the water and sanitation agenda globally. An annual monitoring report will be presented to the Secretary General to inform him on water related disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and elnino that warrant prompt attention,” said the Prince of Orange

He stressed that the millennium target on water has been achieved by many countries though progress on sanitation remains off-track.

“Political will and increased investments and funding will enable countries accelerate progress on water and sanitation,” the Prince told Xinhua

He disclosed that the board will hold a high level African dialogue on water-food-energy nexus with the African union later in the week to deliberate on how the continent can propel ecologically conscious economic growth.

“With more than 7 billion people on the planet, it is our responsibility to find how to meet our needs more efficiently. We are bumping up against natural resource limits. A nexus approach will help us reverse this scenario,” the Prince said.

He added that a nexus approach will enable countries build development pathways that are resource efficient, equitable and sustainable.

“All levels of governance from local to the international can use a nexus approach to ensure a sustainable future,” said the Prince. The UN system has rolled out broad initiatives to help advance water and sanitation agenda globally.

The participants are discussing the need to improve sustainable access to water and sanitation




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