UN deputy chief calls for action to ensure everyone has access to toiletsListen /
There's been a call for action to ensure that everyone has access to sanitation and toilets.
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson in a message to mark World Toilet Day on 19 November, says it is time "to break the taboo around this life and death subject."
The United Nations estimates that 2.5 billion people don't have access to an adequate toilet and practice open defecation.
The Deputy Secretary-General says "it is a cruel irony that it can be easier for people to get access to a mobile phone than to a safe decent toilet."
"We must make sanitation for all a global development priority. First, we must work harder to achieve the Millennium Development Goal, the sanitation target by 2015. It is, after all, the most lagging of the goals, then by 2025 we must end open defecation once and for all. This is a message of a call to action on sanitation that I am leading on behalf of the Secretary-General. The time has come to overcome prudishness and squeamishness on this essential topic." (32")
The Deputy Secretary-General says everyone, governments, development partners, the UN system, the private sector, the knowledge community, civil society, and individuals can do something.
He points out that the benefits are clear- healthier children, more girls in school, greater economic productivity and a cleaner environment.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.