September 16, 2019
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 In Access to Water and Sanitation

Country: United Kingdom
Delegate Name: Carly Clos

Country: United Kingdom
Committee: UNDP
Topic: Access to Water and Sanitation
Delegate: Carly Clos
School: Williamston High School

SDG 6 goals include; increasing access to water and sanitation, decreasing water pollution, increasing water efficiency, and managing water-related ecosystems. Despite recent advancements, 2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, 3.6 billion can’t get access to decent sanitation, and 2.3 billion can’t get access to basic hygiene services in 2020. According to UN-Water, the rate of progression must double in order for the 107 nations that are now on track to reach SDG 6 by 2030. A lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation is connected to a variety of health issues. Other illnesses such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid, and polio can spread without clean water and proper sanitation in the midst of a worldwide pandemic where hand-washing is still suggested to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Poor wastewater management systems reduce economic productivity, whereas improved sanitation helps both the physical and economic health of communities. As a result, the UN must strive not only to provide more people with access to water, but also to secure access to water by enhancing water use efficiency and conserving water-based ecosystems.

The UK government has consistently prioritized expanding sanitation access and, following a review of international law in this area, has now declared sanitation as a human right under international law. At the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting on April 20, the Secretary of State for International Development pledged to increase the UK’s targets for water, sanitation, and hygiene to reach at least 60 million people by 2015. The UK will assist partner governments in fulfilling their obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and we will strengthen the ability of people living in poverty in developing countries to assert their right to sanitation through programs that promote voice, transparency, and accountability. With its promises of cost reductions for businesses and a water delivery industry better suited to deal with floods, droughts, and population increase, the new Water Act 2014 has been easily accepted. The Water Act includes many provisions like: enabling developers and new water or sewage companies to connect new building developments to the water mains and sewerage system improving the regulations relating to the merger of water sewerage undertakers; improving the way water resource management and drought planning are managed; encouraging the use of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) by clarifying that building and maintenance of SuDS can be a function of sewerage undertakers; reducing the bureaucracy relating to the governance of Internal Drainage Boards; transferring the responsibility for maintaining main river maps to the Environment Agency and the Natural Resources Body for Wales.

The UK believes that promoting the right to water will further our development aims. Many strides can be taken for the improvement of water sanitation; like; strengthening political and policy support for meeting the needs of the poorest; helping to make public institutions more accountable to the poor, including supporting improved access to information, where appropriate; building the capacity of those with duties to fulfil the right; supporting measures to tackle discrimination and social and cultural practices which exclude particular groups from accessing services; strengthening the legal and policy framework for accessing water; supporting public expenditure reviews and other analysis of budget allocation to ensure that water service provision is targeting poor people; supporting measures to raise awareness of the right to water; strengthening the capacity of poor and excluded groups to make claims through legal, political and social channels, including support for community advocacy and action. The UK is looking for countries that are involved with UNICEF to work with.

Sources:
https://glica.org/glimun-2021-conference/glimun-2021-committees/access-to-water-and-sanitation/
https://app.croneri.co.uk/feature-articles/water-act-2014
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-recognises-right-to-sanitation
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/36540/uk-position-human-right-water.pdf
https://data.unicef.org/country/gbr/

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