UN Secretary-General addresses a meeting in observance of the 2008 International Year of Sanitation held in New York, 7 May 2007
UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
General Assembly Resolution for the International Year of Sanitation, 20 Dec 2006 Link>>
In September 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals that challenged the global community to reduce poverty and increase the health and well-being of all peoples. In September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg reaffirmed these goals and added access to basic sanitation as a centerpiece of the poverty eradication commitments. The target to halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015 was defined in the Johannesburg Plan of Action (JPOI).
The twelfth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CDS-12), held in New York in April 2004, reviewed the state of implementation of the goals and targets in the thematic areas of water, sanitation and human settlements. CSD-12 identified constraints to, and continuing challenges for, the implementation of these goals, including the JPOI target on access to basic sanitation. On the basis of that review, CSD-13 in April 2005 recommended policy actions to be implemented by member States in addressing these challenges. The international community will review progress towards the implementation of these recommendations during CSD-16 in May 2008.
Despite significant efforts by governments, progress on sanitation targets has been slow and uneven. Recongizing the impact of sanitation on public health, poverty reduction, economic and social development, and the environment, the General Assembly decided to declare 2008 the International Year of Sanitation (GA resolution 61/192 of 20 December 2006). The General Assembly encouraged member States as well as the United Nations system, to take advantage of the International Year to increase awareness of the importance of sanitation to promote action at all levels, taking into account the recommendations of CSD-13.
The United Nations focal point for the International Year of Sanitation 2008 is Ms. Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.