WaterAid welcomes proposals for UN Sustainable Development Goals

We welcome the new proposals to eradicate extreme poverty, which include an ambitious target to bring basic access to safe water and sanitation to everyone, everywhere by 2030.

21 Jul 2014

WaterAid has welcomed the UN Open Working Group’s 17 proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to eradicate extreme poverty and ensure development is sustainable in the future.

The sixth goal sets a separate and ambitious target of bringing basic access to water and safe sanitation to everyone, everywhere by 2030, including:

  • universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all
  • access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all
  • an end to open defecation by 2030.

The goal also pays special attention to inequalities in access, including the needs of girls and women and those in vulnerable situations.

"This document is a firm foundation for the wider UN negotiations that will come over the next year, and a signal that the global water and sanitation crisis is firmly on the UN’s agenda,” says Margaret Batty, WaterAid’s Director of Global Policy and Campaigns.

“We are especially pleased that women, girls and those in vulnerable situations have received specific mention. It is women and girls who bear the brunt of the work and risk of injury in long journeys to fetch heavy jerry cans of water.

“They are tasked with caring for family members made ill by unsafe water, and their safety is threatened by the lack of a safe, private place to relieve themselves.”

The Open Working Group report follows 18 months of negotiation by 70 UN member states. The report now goes to all members of the UN General Assembly for further consideration, before the final goals are set in September 2015.

The existing Millennium Development Goal target of reducing the proportion of people without access to sanitation by half is currently the most off-track of the targets.

Today, some 748 million people - one in 10 of the world’s population - lack access to clean drinking water, while 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation and 1 billion practise open defecation.

Read the proposed Sustainable Development Goals and targets on the UN website >

Find out more about our work on WASH and post-2015 >