Universal access to safe and sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene should be the next global WASH-target. This bold goal for the water community emerged from the multi-stakeholder dialogue on water in the Peace Palace in The Hague, the Netherlands on 21 March.

In their key notes both UNSGAB chairman Prince of Orange and president Ellen Johnson Sireleaf mentioned the importance of clean water for targeting poverty and sustainability.

Outcome of UN consultation on water
Over 250 water leaders talked with many different stakeholders, such as non-governmental organization, business and religious groups, on the outcome of UN’s public consultation on water for the post-2015 targets.

Differently from 2000 when the current millennium goals top-down were defined top-down, the UN wanted this time a bottom-up process to come to new global poverty and sustainability goals. For this the UN started a public consultation earlier this year.

Bert Diphoorn (UN-Habitat). Yoka Brandt (Unicef) and Sven Alkalaj (UN-ECE) reported the key-findings of the thematic consultations on water. On the right is moderator Paul Hohnen. (all photo's: Marco Baiwir)

Many reactions on right to water
Deputy executive director for external affairs Ms Yoka Brandt of Unicef summarized that many reactions addressed the right to water. “It was the major topic in the consultation. Many believed the universal right to water should be our next target. The consultation made clear it is not a matter of if, but how and when.”

Benefiting for everybody
Brandt also mentioned the general consensus that much has been achieved, but there is still a lot to do. Especially concerning sanitation. “Not everybody has benefited from the progress that has been made with the implementation of the current millennium development goals. Mainly women, children and especially people in conflict zones still fail access to clean drinking water. In the new framework these group need special attention”, according to Brandt.

Addressing all stakeholders
The multi-stakeholder dialogue was wrapped up in a wake-up call on water. It addresses all individual stakeholders, politicians, administrators, citizens, consumers, CEOs, religious leaders, children, scientists, farmers, entrepreneurs, bankers and the United Nations, each on its own way, to finish the unfinished agenda of the basic right to drinking water and sanitation for all.

Table with key note speakers, including Dutch minister Melanie Schultz van Haegen (middle), Prince of Orange (right) and president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (front).

At the end of multi-stakeholders dialogue Alexandra Pierre (right) of the World Youth Parliament for Water handed over Dutch ambassador for sustainability Kitty van der Heijden (left) the final version of the Wake up call for water.

Video courtesy to AKVO - Watercouch.tv

Read previous news items on World Water Day on this website:
- World-Water-Day-The-Hague: Global water community endeavors cooperation on food, energy and health issues, 22 March.
- World Water Day - The Hague: Fundraising event Walking for Water 2013 bigger than ever, 20 March
- World Water Day – The Hague: "Water supply is more than fixing a pipeline", 15 March
- World Water Day – The Hague: "Water equity breaks the hold of national sovereignty", 15 March
- World Water Day – The Hague: Tomorrow’s water management is all about sharing water resources, 4 March
- Unesco kicks off year of water cooperation in Paris, next event in The Hague, 12 February
- First programme outline international celebration of World Water Day 2013 in The Hague, 8 February
- Stockholm water week: Unesco and Dutch government take up World water day 2013, 28 August 2012

Public consultations on post-2015 wash targets:
The world we want 2015 - official UN thematic consultation - water

More information
UN Water
International Year of water cooperation

UN website whethematic public consultation:
World we want 2015 - official UN thematic consultation - water