The Drive to 2015 picks up on and continues the spirit of the 2008 International Year of Sanitation which helped to put the neglected sanitation crisis onto the international agenda. Around the world, sanitation was discussed more openly, the human cost to health and dignity became more evident, and, most importantly, political impetus for change was generated at the international as well as the regional and national level.
On 20 December 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling upon the UN Member States to “redouble efforts to close the sanitation gap”. The resolution established the Sanitation Drive to 2015 to focus attention on the sanitation target and to mobilize political will, as well as financial and technical resources.
The Drive to 2015 was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, along with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, Ugandan Minister of Water & Environment Maria Mutagamba, and His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, Chair of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.
A few months before the UN General Assembly had declared water and sanitation to be a human right essential to the full enjoyment of life and all other human rights (A/RES/64/292). It means that:
1. Access to basic sanitation and safe water is and entitlement, rather than a commodity or a service provided on a charitable basis. Achieving basic and improved levels of sanitation and water supply services should be accelerated;
2. The least served are better targeted, and thus inequalities should be reduced;
3. Communities and vulnerable groups will be empowered to take part in decision-making.
On 20 December 2010, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution establishing the “Sustainable Sanitation: The Five-Year-Drive to 2015″.
The Resolution (A/RES/65/153) calls upon the UN Member States to focus attention on the MDG sanitation target and to mobilize political will, as well as financial and technical resources. The resolution also makes history by calling for an end to open defecation, the most dangerous sanitation practice for public health. It also highlights the need to also consider all aspects of sanitation, including hygiene promotion, provision of basic sanitation services, sewerage, and wastewater treatment and reuse.
Read the Resolution in: