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

Welcome Remarks at UN-Water Side Event
“Policy Dialogue on an Emerging Proposal for a Dedicated Global Goal on Water, Targets and Indicators”
Budapest Water Summit 2013

Mr. Michel Jarraud,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to join this UN-Water Side Event.

This discussion is taking place at an opportune moment. The world’s attention is now focused on the twin tasks of accelerating progress toward the Millennium Development Goals and the formulation of a post-2015 development agenda.

This event can make a timely contribution toward both tasks.

Dear Colleagues,

Significant progress has been made in the past decade in achieving MDGs; but many global challenges remain or have become more pressing.

Sanitation clearly calls for more concerted efforts.

Inequality in access to water and sanitation facilities remains an enormous challenge, especially in rural areas.

This needs to be factored in your deliberations.

Recent years have also seen an increase in water related disaster, influenced by climate change.

The devastating impacts of these disasters have hit both the developed and developing world, with the poor bearing the brunt of the impacts.

Water and sanitation issues are clearly multi-dimensional.  Water and sanitation are at the core of our existence.  They need to be addressed for life, for peace, for health and for overall sustainability.

With its 34 members and 29 partners, UN-Water is the mechanism for ensuring coherence in the UN’s approach to addressing issues related to water and sanitation.

I understand in your deliberations you have looked at water in a holistic manner taking into account its multiple uses. I applaud this approach.

UN-Water has an important role to play in addressing the unfinished business of the MDGs. Regarding water and sanitation, we need to scale up our efforts to provide 783 million people with access to improved drinking-water sources. We need to accelerate access to proper sanitation for some 2.5 billion people, including 1 billion people who still practice open defecation.

The current situation is simply unacceptable, and I hope that both in UN-Water and your respective agencies you will rally to the call to action for sanitation, which was launched earlier this year by the Deputy Secretary-General.

Dear Colleagues,

Addressing water and sanitation in a holistic way also means that we must break down the silos between the environmental and development communities, and work towards one holistic goal.

Sustainable development is, in short, the pathway to the future. Sustainable development will be at the core of the future development agenda.

Discussions on this broader post-2015 agenda have accelerated significantly over the past year, including the follow-up to the Rio+20 Conference.

There is an emerging consensus on the need to work towards a single, coherent, and ambitious UN post-2015 development agenda, with a single set of goals, and with targets that would capture the three dimensions of sustainable development.

In his recent report, “A life of dignity for all”, the Secretary-General provides recommendations on a global post-2015 development agenda, and calls for a set of concise goals and targets.  The report also highlights the need for a global partnership for development to mobilize means of implementation.

The Secretary-General also stresses that a participatory monitoring framework will be required to track progress and mutual accountability.

At the Special Event convened by the President of the General Assembly, Member States not only reaffirmed their commitment to the MDGs, but officially decided to launch an intergovernmental process on the post-2015 agenda at the start of the 69th General Assembly.

The UN-system has been working together to coordinate support to the post-2015 development agenda and the open working group on SDGs, through the Task Team on post-2015 and the Technical Support Team of the Open Working Group.


Thank you for your contribution. It is most timely, and will provide sound technical advice to the intergovernmental process.

Your proactive, coordinated and “speaking with one voice” approach to supporting the intergovernmental process, is appreciated by the entire UN family.

Thank you.

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