Globally, billions still live without safely managed sanitation and hygiene services, which are most critical for the protection of human health in this pandemic era. One in three people worldwide still lacks basic handwashing facilities with soap and water at home, leaving the most vulnerable to the unseen virus. Advancing transboundary water cooperation plays a crucial role in preventing conflicts and supporting wider regional integration, peace, and sustainable development.
Sanitation is at the core of sustainable development, sanitation and hygiene services are desperately needed to prevent the virus from spreading. The world is not on track to achieve Goal 6 of the Sustainable Development Goal, 2030. Urgent action is needed to overcome this global crisis, as it is affecting all countries, socially, economically, and environmentally.
As a direct response to the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development called for by Heads of State and Government at the SDG Summit in 2019, the UN system launched the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework to put the world on track to realize its targets by 2030.
International Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Decade, the UN Conference on Environment and Development, the International Conference on Water and the Environment, the World Water Day, the World Toilet Day, are some direct responses to coordinate the efforts of UN entities and international organizations to work on water and sanitation issues.
Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all has therefore been for a long time a topic at the United Nations and the priority is now turning the new vision into reality, through national leadership and global partnership.
Mr. Udhayanidhi Stalin, DMK Youth Wing Secretary, Member of the Legislative Assembly, in Tamil Nadu, India played a key role in upgrading his constituency (which mostly consists of slums) with the mission and vision to explore the deviation between the norm that cities should not have slums so that the actual Millennium Development Goals are met.
Mr. Udhayanidhi and his team personally inspected whether proper sanitation facilities have been made in his constituency. Abiding to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 2030, he ordered the concerned authorities to inspect and repair the dilapidated toilets. Mr. Udhayanidhi is exercising his vows to the public and is executing his job well as a legislator – which is highly commendable even in the international fora and deserves global recognition for his compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals, 2030 as he stands with people and listens to their grievances and addresses them, almost instantly.
By 2030, as the global aims to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations, Chennai, India witnessed an integrated and holistic approach to managing sanitation.
Now more than ever the world needs to transform the way it manages its sanitation services for billions of people. Existing efforts to protect and restore water-related ecosystems must be scaled up and accelerated urgently as more than 4.2 billion people lack safely managed sanitation.
The author of this article is Dottoressa. Maffi, Advocate, Global Brand Ambassador, WTO(UK), holds a degree in law from London, a Legum Magister in Legal Practice from the City University, UK, A Master of Arts in Human Rights, a Legum Magister from United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, Italy, a Certificate in Migration and its link to Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development Agenda from University for Peace, Costa Rica, and a Certificate in Global Governance, University for Peace, Costa Rica.