New York

19 November 2021

Deputy Secretary-General's video message to Sanitation for All: World Toilet Day, hosted by the New York Permanent Mission of Singapore and co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of India and Nigeria

Watch the video:

Excellencies, distinguished guests, dear colleagues and friends,

At the current rate of progress, sanitation for all will become a reality sometime in the 22nd century.

So today, on World Toilet Day, we are calling on governments to accelerate their efforts on sanitation – to quadruple the rate of progress.

Achieving SDG6 means providing basic toilets for nearly 1.7 billion people, and waste collection and treatment services for more than twice that number.

Poor sanitation ruins lives.

It puts more than 4 billion people at risk and burdens health systems with preventable illnesses.

It takes children from school, denying them education and opportunities that can affect their whole lives.

It compromises the safety and dignity of millions of people.

But – unlike many of the complex challenges we face –this is a problem that can be solved.

And every dollar invested in sanitation delivers five-fold in economic benefits.

Achieving universal access to clean water and sanitation may seem expensive, but the cost of inaction is far greater.

What is missing is bold action and leadership.

History shows it can be done.

Singapore – one of our hosts today - transformed sanitation within a generation. India and Nigeria have also shown the power of government leadership to make rapid progress on this neglected but essential issue.

The United Nations system is committed to working in solidarity with governments under the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework to galvanize action on sanitation. 

The State of the World’s Sanitation report sets out a clear path for progress on governance, financing, capacity development, data, and innovation.

With strong public investment and leadership, together we can make sanitation for all a reality by 2030.

Thank you.