Flanking Maneuver: Working to Achieve Sustainable Development Goal Six

By: Alice Urban

Now that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have had a few weeks to settle in, the development community is starting to see ways major institutions plan to address some of the world’s biggest challenges.Last month, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the President of the World Bank jointly announced their intention to form a new panel to mobilize urgent action toward the sustainable development goal for water and sanitation access for all (SDG 6).

More broadly, the SDGs are an aspirational intergovernmental set of 17 goals which guide the 2016-2030 development agenda. Goals cover issues ranging from climate to inequality, hunger to health, and education to peace.

The panel announcement comes as countries experience water stress and water-related disasters that are expected to grow worse, due to climate change, without better policy decisions.

“Water is a precious resource, crucial to realizing the SDGs, which at their heart aim to eradicate poverty,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “The new panel can help motivate the action we need to turn ideas into reality.” The multi-government panel will also advocate for water- and sanitation-related financial investment worldwide.

Untitled“At Pure Water for the World, we enthusiastically support actions that give water and sanitation issues broad international attention,” shares Executive Director, Carolyn Crowley Meub.

“Such panels and discussions ensure that high-level policy and priorities reflect the needs of some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. But we also need to focus locally and take actions each day that seek tangible water and sanitation justice for all,” said Meub. With a flanking approach – attacking the water and sanitation crisis from the most powerful institutions to the daily micro-actions of community agents helping their communities maintain safe water habits – we can combine international policy with boots-on-the-ground action to address this urgent human crisis.

Today is World Day of Social Justice, a United Nations-designated day to reflect on the notion of social justice and its relevance to development and human dignity. At Pure Water for the World, we are committed to providing children and families with life-saving clean water and sanitation solutions and essential hygiene education – the most basic necessities to achieve a socially just world where the attainment of SDG 6 becomes a reality.