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U.N. Officials Speak About Sanitation, Hygiene On World Toilet Day

“With its first official observance of World Toilet Day, the United Nations [on Tuesday] called on the international community to help break taboos around toilets, which are still out of reach to more than one-third of the global population, and make sanitation a global development priority,” the U.N. News Centre reports. “Of the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the sanitation target is the most off-track with more than 80 percent of countries behind in the national targets that they set,” the news service adds. The article includes quotes from U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; Catarina de Albuquerque, the U.N. special rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation; and Theresa Dooley, senior adviser for sanitation and hygiene at UNICEF (11/19). In a separate article, the U.N. News Centre interviews U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson, who talks “about why it is vitally necessary to make progress to improve hygiene, change social norms, better manage human waste and waste-water systems, and, ultimately, eliminate open-air defecation, which perpetuates a vicious cycle of disease and entrenched poverty” (11/19).