Five years ago world leaders made a promise: to end extreme poverty by 2030. But the 2018 United Nations progress report painted an alarming picture. We're at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) hosting events, blogging and tweeting live from New York, to make sure the water, sanitation and hygiene crisis is no longer ignored. 

This isn't just another closed-door meeting of government officials. The annual July meeting of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) is the main opportunity for organisations like us to hold governments to account on their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promises.

Last year progress on Goal 6 (water and sanitation for all) was reviewed, and it couldn't have come sooner – governments are way off their 2030 targets. In fact, if current trends continue 

At the 2019 HLPF, leaders focused on six of the 17 goals: education, work, inequalities, climate, peace and partnership. That's why a WaterAid delegation went to New York, participating in the Forum and hosting events – to make sure governments don't forget, or ignore, how crucial water, sanitation and hygiene are to ending poverty.

During HLPF 2019 our main aims were to:

  1. Boost attention to the need for urgent action to address the global WASH crisis, because WASH is central to reducing inequalities and achieving the SDGs.

  2. Highlight links between WASH and the SDGs in focus this year, presenting concrete proposals, case studies and potential solutions regarding sanitation workers (Goals 8, 10 and 16), climate change (Goal 13), and financing (Goal 17 on partnership). Learn about these connections in our briefs >

  3. Share our expertise on national-level implementation, and press for global accountability for policy integration and financial commitment towards reducing inequalities in access to WASH.

Tackling inequalities

Lacking access to clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene stops people having an equal chance to be healthy, educated and financially secure. We're urging the UN to prioritise reaching the furthest behind first and ensure more equitable and inclusive finance.

WaterAid/ Tom Saater

Voluntary national reviews

Every year governments present voluntary national reviews (VNRs), reporting on national progress on implementing the SDGs, including how they've aligned the 2030 Agenda with national plans and priorities. Countries presenting reviews submit a comprehensive written report and documents detailing key findings.

This year, 47 countries volunteered to present reviews.

The VNR process is problematic, but one thing is clear – WASH is not being focused on. And we need clear data and reporting in order to progress action towards the 2030 Agenda.

WaterAid took an active interest in last year's VNRs, publishing a blog charting how effective they are at monitoring progress. Read the blog >