The Environment and Sustainable Development Division (ESDD) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) will observe World Water Day (WWDon Thursday, 20 March at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Bangkok. This year’s event will also highlight the International Year of Sanitation 2008.
The UN General Assembly declared the year 2008 to be International Year of Sanitation in order to raise awareness and to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing by half the proportion of the 2.4 billion people without access to basic sanitation by 2015. The theme for The International Year of Sanitation (IYS) is “accelerating progress on sanitation to help save lives and foster economic and social development”.
The observation programme on 20 March will include a panel discussion on “International Year of Sanitation – 2008: Strategies and Lessons Learned for Action at all Levels”. The highlights of the Panel Discussion include the message of the United Nations Secretary-General, statement of the Deputy Executive Secretary of the ESCAP and a keynote speech by Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, Founder of the Sulabh Sanitation & Social Reform Movement
and a special presentation of Mr Jack Sim, Founder and CEO of the World Toilet Organization
As part of the observance, an exhibition will take place from 19 to 21 March 2008 to feature the achievements of various water/sanitation-related efforts by Thailand and by international organizations working in the region.