Drowning Prevention, Safe Access To Water Critical To Achieving SDGs, Ensuring ‘No One Is Left Behind’

Devex: Opinion: Drowning is responsible for more deaths than malnutrition. It’s time for change.
Nguyen Phuong Nga, ambassador and permanent representative of Vietnam to the U.N., and colleagues

“…[I]n our efforts to achieve the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] and make the U.N. Decade on Water successful, we must address the issue of water access in the fullest sense … While our focus has been on access to safe water, it is critical to draw the attention of the global community to the need for safe access to water. Each year, drowning is responsible for more deaths than malnutrition or maternal mortality. … [T]o date, drowning has been absent from political debate and has not received the level of public attention it deserves. That’s why we have launched the Group of Friends on Drowning Prevention, to mobilize governments from across the geographic and political spectrum to act on this common cause; to ensure that the issue of drowning prevention is recognized and receives resources commensurate with its impact on communities worldwide. … [W]e call upon the president of the General Assembly and fellow leaders to recognize the importance of safe access to water alongside access to safe water. If we are to achieve the [SDGs] and ensure that no one is left behind, inaction is not an option” (3/29).