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UNSGAB’s HAPIII Outlines Water and Sanitation Objectives

unsgab9 October 2013: The UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water (UNSGAB) launched the Third Hashimoto Action Plan (HAPIII), which presents its 2013-2015 strategy for shaping global water and sanitation policy, at a side event held during the Budapest Water Summit.

The Plan calls for a final push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water and sanitation, noting that the sanitation target is among the most off-track, and advocates for including water and sanitation objectives in the post-2015 development agenda.

HAPIII proposes a holistic approach to achieve three aims. First, the Plan seeks to deliver on sanitation by addressing challenges in achieving the MDGs, including on data collection and monitoring, and ensuring the development community prioritizes water and sanitation in the future. Second, HAPIII aims to increase wastewater management and pollution prevention. Third, it aspires to improve integrated water resources management (IWRM) and water-use efficiency.

The UNSGAB recommends these three aims become objectives in a stand-alone Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). It further recommends including water-efficiency targets in other post-2015 goals, and focusing on water and disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the post-2015 agenda. To achieve these aims, the Plan calls for, inter alia: regional bodies and national governments to prioritize water and sanitation and endorse a water SDG; increased capacity building to support IWRM planning; continued donor support, including on monitoring progress; and partnerships, such as one between UNSGAB and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)-World Health Organization (WHO) Joint Monitoring Programme on safe drinking water.

For each objective, HAPIII outlines its rationale, describes UNSGAB commitments to achieve them and highlights potential partnerships to support them. To ensure prioritization of water and sanitation on international and national agendas,UNSGAB commits to, inter alia, share sanitation drive messages on health, dignity, economic growth and environment with the respective health and nutrition, women's rights, financial and sustainable development communities. To ensure sustainable water financing, the Plan recommends reflecting water in national budgets, leveraging overseas investment and fostering innovation to ensure adequate financing.

The UNSGAB is meeting in Budapest, Hungary, from 7-8 October 2013, on the sidelines of the Budapest Water Summit. [UNSGAB website] [Third Hashimoto Action Plan] [IISD RS Sources] [IISD RS Coverage of the Budapest Water Summit]