Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Secretary-General for the International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Opening remarks
22 Meeting of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to participate in this 22nd meeting of UNSGAB. I am here today to send a strong message of support from the United Nations family.  As the Board enters the stage in making substantive contribution to the post 2015 development agenda, we are committed to assist you achieve your objectives.  Both the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General would like to reiterate their commitment to and support for UNSGAB.

On behalf of the Secretary-General, I am pleased to acknowledge today, Dr. Uschi Eid as the Chair of UNSGAB.  We sincerely thank you for taking on this role, during this defining period for the international development agenda.  Your dedication to the work of this Board is indisputable.  You bring knowledge, passion and an admirable work ethic.  We all look forward to working with you, and you can always count on our support.

I would also like to thank the Government of Singapore for hosting this session.  Singapore is a leader on water issues, particularly on sanitation.

UNSGAB is well positioned to continue its important contribution to the dialogue on the SDG’s and the post-2015 development agenda.  You are clear on your position that the post-2015 development framework should include a dedicated water goal.  You shared this vision in January 2013 with Member States through the open working group, on sustainable development goals. Your well-articulated vision has served as a valuable and influential contribution to the post-2015 process.

As you are aware, water and sanitation is one of the focus areas that have emerged from the deliberations of the open working group. As Member States enter the complex phase of negotiations, your ideas, vision and advocacy will be even more crucial in helping shape a robust future response to water and sanitation challenges. 

There is also the unfinished business of the MDGs.  In this regard, The Secretary-General has asked UNSGAB to support the international community as we accelerate efforts towards achieving the water and sanitation targets.  UNSGAB’s sanitation advocacy has played a crucial role in putting this challenge on the international agenda.  We encourage you to continue this important work. 

I am confident that this important meeting will set the course for UNSGAB’s contribution to the global water and sanitation vision for the post 2015 period.  I also hope that this meeting will provide a platform to initiate discussions on UNSGAB’s legacy.

I wish you successful deliberations.

Thank you.