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Keeping sanitation high on national and international agendas
The Sanitation Drive to 2015 was introduced by UNSGAB to maintain focus on achieving the Millennium Development Goal sanitation target. Endorsed by Member States through a General Assembly resolution, the aim of the campaign is to advocate effectively for stakeholders to adopt a focused trajectory to achieve MDG 7c on sanitation by the agreed deadline in 2015. The resolution also called on Member States to end open defecation, the first time this practice is mentioned in an intergovernmental document. The Sanitation Drive is unique because of its focus on ending open defecation as the most extreme manifestation of poor sanitation disproportionately affecting the poorest and most marginalized. Open defecation is strongly related to the spread of major killer diseases and also reflects the inequality associated with sanitation services.

UNSGAB commits to:

  • Remain active champions of the Sanitation Drive to 2015, in part by spearheading the Sanitation Drivers campaign.
  • Support the Deputy-Secretary General in his Call to Action for greater focus and attention to sanitation and the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership's country commitments to deliver sanitation services.
  • Carry the Sanitation Drives message on health to the health and nutrition community; message on dignity to women�s rights and equity communities; message on economic growth to the financial community; and message on environment to the sustainable development community.
  • Participate and support regional sanitation conferences with the goal of promoting regional approaches to improve access to sanitation.
  • Call on national governments to clarify responsibilities for formulating and implementing sanitation plans.
  • Be an active advocate for UN World Toilet Day, 19 November.
  • Articulate that human waste is a resource having agricultural and energy applications (with due attention to health requirements) and a central role in green growth initiatives.
  • Make clear the need for the rights and protection of sanitation workers, particularly those in close contact with human excreta

The success of all these efforts depends on national action and partner activities:

  • UN-Water Thematic Priority Area on Water and Sanitation increases activity to deliver the Sanitation Drive to 2015.
  • Water and Sanitation for Africa partners with the Sanitation Drive as part of the "African First Ladies' Coalition to Promote Sanitation and Hygiene."
  • WHO streamlines sanitation as key element of preventive action.
  • Sanitation and Water for All partners with the Sanitation Drive to 2015 to help deliver on the sanitation commitments made at its High-Level Meetings.
  • SuSanA - the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance continues innovation and advocacy for sustainable sanitation solutions.
  • All development partners integrate sanitation at schools in their cooperation efforts.
  • The disaster relief community prioritizes toilets (particularly innovative waterless toilets) in their efforts.

United Nations