UN 2023 Water Conference – Side Event


Accelerating progress on safe sanitation and hygiene for all: Countdown to 2030 

Time and Date: Friday, 24 March 2023: 12:30 -13:45 EST (75 minutes) 

Location: UN Headquarters, ECOSOC Council Chamber (enter on second floor) 

Translations available: French

RSVP link: here


The world is alarmingly off track towards achieving universal access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene. Nearly half of the world’s population lives without a safe toilet, nearly a third does not have a place to wash their hands with water and soap, and one-third of the world’s health facilities lack hand hygiene facilities at the point of care. Almost 500 million people practise open defecation. This global crisis has a profound impact on public health, economic productivity, environmental integrity, and educational attainment. Girls and women are disproportionately affected by the lack of safe, private sanitation facilities in homes, workplaces and public spaces. Children, especially the most vulnerable, bear the heaviest disease burden, and it is estimated that every day, more than 700 children die from illnesses caused by unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. Poor sanitation also contributes to a heavy disease burden from soil transmitted helminths (worms) which undermines children’s growth and ability to learn. 

Solutions exist. Governments have shown progress is possible through innovation, leadership and investments. However, at our current rates of progress, and with less than eight years to go, we will need to quadruple our efforts to achieve SDG Target 6.2 by 2030. 


· Create awareness on the poor state of sanitation and hygiene and mobilize actions for accelerating progress. 

· Share knowledge, experiences and innovations to catalyze action towards strengthening systems for accelerated delivery of safely managed sanitation and hygiene for all. 

· Provide a platform for commitments from national governments, development partners and the private sector to accelerate progress on safely managed sanitation and hygiene for all 

The side event will mobilize commitments and actions that are substantive, innovative and transformative in accelerating progress on safely managed sanitation and safe hygiene for all. The emphasis will be on partnership, collaboration and cooperation, under government leadership. 

Key messages: 

1. Increased political commitments and urgent investment in sanitation and hygiene are critical to transforming health, economies, and the environment by 2030. 

2. The sector needs to have and disseminate appropriate tools, approaches and foundational interventions that can be adapted to any context and deployed to accelerate progress towards SDG 6.2. 

3. To accelerate efforts for achieving universal access to safe sanitation and hygiene, it will require sustained partnerships and harmonized collaboration across donors, implementing partners, private sector, and national governments. 


1. Permanent Mission of Tanzania to the United Nations 

2. Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations 

3. Permanent Mission of Tajikistan to the United Nations 

4. United Kingdom Mission to the United Nations 

5. Permanent Mission of Namibia to the United Nations 

6. Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations 

7. Permanent Mission of India to the United Nations 

8. African Ministers’ Council on Water 

9. United Nations Children’s Fund 

10. World Health Organization 

11. The World Bank 

12. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation 

13. BMZ/GIZ 

14. WaterAid 

15. LIXIL 

16. Unilever