10 June 2013

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General Appoints El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan New Chairman


of His Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation


The Secretary-General today appointed His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan as the new Chairman of his Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).

In highlighting the challenges facing the international community in achieving the water and sanitation targets of the Millennium Development Goals, the Secretary-General stated that 2.5 billion people around the world still lack access to proper sanitation and 768 million do not have access to improved sources of water.  Between now and the 2015 deadline, the international community, Governments and the private sector must accelerate progress toward the Millennium Development Goals water and sanitation targets.  He further underlined that water and sanitation is likely to figure prominently in the discussions on the sustainable development goals.

The Secretary-General commended Prince El Hassan on his leadership in championing global causes and in supporting intercultural dialogue.  Among other initiatives, he launched the International Cultures Foundation in 2002, the Partners in Humanity Dialogue in 2003, and the Parliament of Cultures in 2004.  He has served as Chairman of the Policy Advisory Commission for the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and as a Member of the Board of the South Centre.  Water management is an issue of central importance to Jordan.

The Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation was established in 2004 to advise the Secretary-General and galvanize action by Governments and international organizations to advance the global water and sanitation agenda.  The Board’s focus is helping to achieve the Millennium Development Goal targets on water and sanitation.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was designated Chairman of the Advisory Board in March 2004, and he was followed by Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, who became Chairman in December 2006.  He remained Chairman until 30 April 2013, when he assumed his duties as King of the Netherlands.  Crown Prince Naruhito of Japan serves as the Honorary President of the Advisory Board.

The Secretary-General is confident that the new Chairman and the Board members will continue vigorously to address the water and sanitation challenge and mobilize action, resources and political will to improve the lives of billions of people around the world.

In welcoming the new Chairman, he expressed his deep gratitude and appreciation for the skilled and untiring efforts of the former Chairman, His Majesty Willem-Alexander, hailing his commitment as a driving force in setting the water and sanitation challenges on the global agenda.

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For information media • not an official record