General Assembly moves to improve sanitation for all

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Toilet facility in India

The UN General Assembly has unanimously adopted a resolution that seeks to improve the lives of the 2.5 billion people worldwide who lack access to proper sanitation facilities.

Ambassadors on Wednesday voted to establish 19 November as World Toilet Day in efforts to bring an end to open defecation.

The UN says nearly 2,000 children die each day from diarrhoeal diseases as a result of this practice.

Mark Neo, chargé d'affaires at the Singapore Mission to the UN, introduced the resolution.

"Through this simple draft resolution before the General Assembly today, we will have an international platform to shine a spotlight, to collaborate on special events and to develop further synergies on the issues of toilets and sanitation. We hope that this initiative to commemorate World Toilet Day in the context of Sanitation for All on 19 November will be taken up at the local, national, regional and international levels by all stakeholders in a manner appropriate to their priorities, needs and particular circumstances."

The UN estimates that poor sanitation and water supply result in economic losses totalling $260 billion annually in developing countries.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1’23″

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