San Jose, Costa Rica

04 April 2019

Secretary-General's message to the Sanitation and Water For All Sector Ministers' Meeting

It is a pleasure to greet this important meeting on sanitation and water for all.     
Achieving safe and sustainable water and sanitation access for all is an urgent challenge.
Every year since the 1980s, global water use has increased.
But this does not mean that everyone has access to reliable and safe water.
Two billion people today live without safe water at home.
And 4.5 billion people do not have safely managed sanitation.   
Moreover, population growth and rapid urbanization, coupled with poor management, have increased water demand and stress in many parts of the world.
And climate change is adding dramatically to the pressure.
We have a lot of work ahead of us.
We need to triple current annual investments in the water and sanitation sector to ensure that everyone has access to safe water and sanitation.
I commend your leadership and efforts to increase awareness about the root causes of inequalities in water and sanitation.
Ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is about fulling our promise to leave no one behind.
I count on you to develop concrete plans and solutions to overcome this significant challenge and look forward to learning about the results of your discussions.
Thank you.