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Thematic Priority Area: Water Supply and Basic Sanitation

On 28 July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the human right to water and sanitation. It also acknowledged that clean drinking water and sanitation are essential to the realization of all human rights. The Resolution calls upon States and international organizations to provide financial resources, help capacity-building and technology transfer to help countries, in particular developing countries, to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all.

One of the efforts made in achieving the goal of providing safe water and sanitation for all is the establishment of a UN-Water Thematic Priority Area (TPA) on Water Supply and Basic Sanitation with the following objectives:

  • Foster collaboration between UN Agencies;
  • Provide value added services to the UN, its members and Member States;
  • Support initiatives that facilitate achievement of the relevant MDG and SDG targets;
  • Raise awareness and support UN global advocacy on water supply and basic sanitation;
  • Co-ordinate with non-UN-Water initiatives related to water supply and basic sanitation (e.g. Sanitation and Water for All).

The work plan of the TPA covers seven key areas: i) Management; ii) Support to the Five Year Drive for Sustainable Sanitation; iii) Support to Regional and Global Processes that support and track progress on Water and Sanitation Commitments; iv) Coordination of UN-Water contributions to discussions on the post-2015 framework for targets and indicators; v) Support to research by the Independent Expert on Human Rights relating to access to safe drinking water and sanitation; vi) Support to the Wastewater Task Force, Climate Change Task Force and the Water Quality Thematic Priority Area and vii) Coordination of inputs relating to water supply and basic sanitation for relevant international events.

Coordinating organization and contacts






Corinne Schuster-Wallace
Water-Health Nexus

Jose-Luis Martin Bordes
Water, Sanitation and Infrastructure Branch


Last update:07 Oct 2014