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UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Toilets transform lives: UN Secretary-General António Guterres

UN Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the transformative impact of toilets on human lives, highlighting their role in enhancing health, dignity, well-being, public health, environmental sustainability, and community empowerment.

“They deliver dignity, boost school attendance, particularly for girls, and enhance health and nutrition by preventing the spread of disease,” he said while delivering a message on the eve of World Toilet Day.

He added that gradually, the world is making progress towards bringing sanitation to all and fulfilling one of the ambitions of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Over 900 million more people have access to safely managed sanitation services than in 2015. And almost 300 million more people have been spared the indignity of open defecation over the same period.

"But a massive sanitation shortfall still exists, with billions of people cut off from safe services. We’re racing the clock. To meet the 2030 deadline for the SDGs, we need to move five times faster,” he added.

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"This World Toilet Day focuses on accelerating action on sanitation to drive progress across the SDGs. The world must respond urgently to this call. We need a massive cash injection across the board to get the SDGs on track. My proposal for an SDG stimulus of $500 billion a year is gaining traction, and I urge leaders to act now to make it a reality,” Guterres said.

“On this World Toilet Day, let’s recommit to realising every person’s human right to safe sanitation, to help flush away poverty and indignity for good,” he said.

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