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Tackling water, sanitation, energy, key to sustainable future – UN



Feb. 19,2014: The water, sanitation and sustainable energy crises are the among the world’s pre-eminent development challenges, senior United Nations officials warned on Tuesday, urging Member States to adopt coherent integrated policies and innovative strategies to tackle these issues, which take a tragic toll on the lives of millions of poor people, especially women and young girls.
“Lack of access to water, sanitation and sustainable energy services is a compound magnifier of poverty, ill-health and mortality, and gender inequality,” said General Assembly President John Ashe as he opened the 193-member body’s thematic debate on the issue. Tuesday’s gathering is the first in the series of such debates and high-level events he will host this year ,to provide a platform for Member States and other stakeholders to set the stage for the post-2015 development agenda.
Ashe has made the effort to achieve a new post-2015 agenda to succeed the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) the hallmark of his year-long Assembly presidency, which ends in September.
The MDGs, agreed by world leaders at a UN summit in 2000, aim to slash extreme hunger and poverty, cut maternal and infant mortality, combat disease and provide access to universal education and health care, all by the end of 2015. But these targets will likely not be reached in many countries and areas, and they will be incorporated in an even more ambitious post-2015 agenda.
“Addressing the problems of water, sanitation and sustainable energy is not just a matter of grave concern, it is a matter of moral imperative for the entire international community,” said Ashe, explaining that the magnitude of the problem is great: 783 million people live without clean water; 2.5 billion have no adequate sanitation; and 1.4 billion people are without access to electricity.
Source: UN

Irene Fernandez


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