9 July 2020 - The UN-Habitat Executive Director joined the UN Secretary-General, heads of UN agencies and stakeholders from around the world to launch the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) Global Acceleration Framework at a special event at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.

Hosted by UN-Water, the SDG6 Global Acceleration Framework will generate commitments for ambitious solutions on water and sanitation in support of the Decade of Action. SDG6 calls for the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by 2030 however in urban areas, up to 700 million people lack access to basic sanitation.

The Executive Director emphasized UN-Habitat’s support for the Framework and called for urgent action to “prevent the spread of COVID-19 amongst urban poor in informal settlements and slums” where handwashing facilities are scarce.

She spoke of the need to strengthen water operators through scalable and strong Water Operators’ Partnerships and to come up with innovations to support water and sanitation service providers in tackling the challenge of climate change. She also spoke about improving the disaggregation of data to support decision making and guide investments more effectively. Current data on water and sanitation issues can mask inequities in urban areas and often does not count slums and informal settlements.

UN-Habitat's Global Water Operators Partnerships Alliance (www.gwopa.org) helps strengthen water and sanitation utilities around the world.