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United Nations launches framework to speed up progress on water and sanitation goal


UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the President of the United Nations General Assembly, joined the UN-Water Chair and heads of 10 United Nations entities, Member States representatives and stakeholders from civil society and the private sector at the virtual launch of the Sustainable Development Goal 6 Global Acceleration Framework on Thursday 9 July. More than 1400 people were registered to watch the launch.

Hosted by UN-Water, who led the collaborative development of the Framework, this special event was a significant moment of high-level, multi-stakeholder commitment to solving the water and sanitation crisis.

The SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework is a new, unifying initiative that involves all sectors of society to speed up progress by improving support to countries and is part of the UN Secretary-General’s Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030.

Today, progress towards SDG 6 – ‘to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030’ – is way off track.

SDG 6 supports many, if not all, of the other 16 SDGs, particularly on health and disease prevention, education, food, gender equality, energy and climate change. Failure to achieve SDG 6 would threaten the success of the 2030 Agenda as a whole.

The challenges the world faces – particularly from climate change, migration and increasing demand – are unprecedented and growing. With only 10 years to go to achieve the SDGs, the Framework is the UN’s integrated global response to rapidly improve progress on SDG 6.

Speaking at the launch, Secretary-General Guterres said, “The water and sanitation crisis demands a holistic, systemic and multilateral response. Water is required to deliver almost all other SDGs, from global health to food security, and it is essential for resilience to climate change." He added: “I am proud to see the launch of the Global Acceleration Framework […] I applaud my colleagues for making this happen. The Framework can improve global water and sanitation governance towards more sustainable management of water resources.”

The SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework aims to deliver fast results at an increased scale. The UN system and its multi-stakeholder partners, driven by country demand and coordinating through UN-Water, will unify the international community’s support to countries for SDG 6 through five accelerators:

1. Optimized financing – fully-funded plans leading to services where they are needed most.
2. Improved data and information to inform decision-making and increase accountability.
3. Capacity development in people and institutions to improve and expand services.
4. Innovation – new practices and technologies scaled up.
5. Governance improved across sectors and national boundaries to make SDG 6 everyone’s business.

The water and sanitation crisis can and must be solved. Various countries have proved that dramatic gains in water and sanitation can be achieved in just a few years and that some of the solutions are inexpensive, effective and can be quickly deployed.

In 2023, the international community will gather in New York for a United Nations conference on the mid-term review of the Water Action Decade 2018-2028, which will be a critical milestone for the SDG 6 Global Acceleration Framework.

This will be the first United Nations conference on water and sanitation since the 1970s – a clear signal that achievement of SDG 6 is integral to all three pillars of the UN: peace and security, human rights and development.


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