U.N. Launches Drive To Improve Basic Sanitation By 2015

The U.N. on Tuesday “launched a major push to accelerate progress towards the goal of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without access to basic sanitation,” according to the U.N. News Centre (6/21).

The campaign aims to halve the number of people without basic sanitation, currently estimated to be 2.6 billion, by 2015, United Press International reports “The U.N. General Assembly has recognized clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life,” the news service writes (6/21).

“Sanitation is a sensitive issue. It is an unpopular subject. Perhaps that is why the sanitation crisis has not been met with the kind of response we need,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was re-elected to a second term on Tuesday, said at the launch, according to the U.N. News Centre. He added, “But that must change. It is time to put sanitation and access to proper toilets at the centre of our development discussions” (6/21). A video of Ban’s remarks, as well as a summary of the launch, is available from UNICEF (Lancourt, 6/21).