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Apr 2, 2014

UN DEBATES THE EFFECTS OF WATER, SANITATION AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY


 

A thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda is underway at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

A thematic debate on Water, Sanitation and Sustainable Energy in the Post-2015 Development Agenda is underway at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

It is the first in a series of debates and high-level events by the UN member-states and other stakeholders to set the stage for the post-2015 development Agenda.

Opening the debate, the President of the UN General Assembly, Mr. John W. Ashe noted that it was a curtain raiser on setting the stage for the Post-2015 development agenda.

He indicated that the General Assembly will soon begin an inter-governmental consultation on the organizational modalities for the September 2015 Summit and the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

“The water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises are the pre-eminent development challenges in our world.  We can no longer remain either resigned or silent, whilst a lack of access to water, sanitation and sustainable energy services takes a tragic and daily toll on the lives of millions of poor people especially women and young girls.

“Addressing this nexus of water, sanitation and sustainable energy is not just a matter of grave concern, it is a matter of moral imperative for the entire international community because we need to ensure that access to clean and safe water, sanitation services and sustainable energy services are provided without any further delay”, Mr. Ashe explained.

The President of the GA observed that lack of access to water, sanitation and sustainable energy services is a compound magnifier of poverty, ill-health and mortality and gender inequality.

He again catalogued other effects of the situation as worsening existing developmental concerns in the poorest nations and communities and exacerbates the vulnerabilities of those who are already disadvantaged.

To buttress his point, Mr. Ashe said 783 million people lived worldwide without clean water, 2.5 billion have no adequate sanitation and 1.4 billion people are without access to electricity.

Coupled with this, about 80 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with high water security threats.

Arguing that energy, water and sanitation are essential to the achievement of many developmental goals, he said “they are inextricably linked to climate change, agriculture, food security, health, gender, education among others.

In view of the growing global population and rising demand for energy and water, the President of the UN General Assembly urged member-states and other participants in the debate to develop a more integrated approach to problem-solving so that they can best address the development nexus of water, sanitation and sustainable energy services.

Source: Information Section, Ghana Mission, New York