WSSCC joins the world in expressing its deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Mr. Annan’s recent passing brought his life and legacy in focus and elicited a global outpouring of respect and appreciation for him, and his work, on social media, traditional media, from many in the United Nations system, and in personal reflection.
As Secretary-General, and more recently as Chairman of the Board of the Kofi Annan Foundation, Mr. Annan consistently expressed support for achieving universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene. As recently as 7 April 2017, World Health Day, he wrote, “We shall not defeat any of the infectious diseases that plague the developing world until we have also won the battle for safe drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care.”
WSSCC and those around the world working daily on these issues appreciated his high-profile endorsement for the importance of water and sanitation and their crucial roles for peoples’ health and development.
“Kofi Annan worked tirelessly throughout his life for a sustainable world where the rights and dignity of all people were safeguarded,” said Mr. Rolf Luyendijk, WSSCC’s Executive Director. “He was a champion for clean water and sanitation, and the entire WSSCC family offers its deepest condolences.”
WSSCC’s relationship to Mr. Annan and his wife Nane extends through the years. As recently as April 2017, Mr. Annan and his wife were special guests at a reception in Geneva hosted by WSSCC in honour of the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, who also served as Chair of the Council from April 2016 to April 2017.
In the early 2000s, thanks to the tireless advocacy of Mr. and Mrs. Annan, sanitation gained a higher profile on the international development agenda through its inclusion in the Millennium Development Goals and, later, the Sustainable Development Goals.
Whether through his regular participation in World Water Day, such as in 2002, or her support to WSSCC efforts to mobilise women leaders and make ‘sanitation a big issue’, Mr. and Mrs. Annan were at the vanguard of WASH efforts.
Perhaps his contribution is best expressed by former WSSCC Chair Anna Tibaijuka, during a 2011 global forum on sanitation and hygiene hosted by WSSCC in India.
Describing the Ghanaian-born Annan as an astounding and inspiring person, she said: “Imagine the world without Kofi Annan – that would be a world without the Millennium Development Goals, including the sanitation target that brings all of us here in Mumbai.”
The world may no longer have Kofi Annan, but his life and legacy will continue to inspire us all.
Hind Khatib-Othman, Executive Chair of WSSCC, voices out the need for a scalable and global Fund to effectively tackle the sanitation and hygiene crisis with a transformative, long-term approach. For more information about the Sanitation and Hygiene Fund please check here
GENÈVE, 25 mai 2020 – Le Conseil de concertation pour l’approvisionnement en eau et l’assainissement (WSSCC) et l’UNOPS annoncent la nomination de M. Dominic O’Neill au poste d’Executive Director du WSSCC. M. O’Neill apporte à cette fonction une richesse de connaissances et toutes sortes d’expériences dans le secteur du développement aux niveaux national et mondial. […]
By Renu Kshetry Communicate effective measures to prevent COVID-19 KATHMANDU, Nepal – Faced with a major challenge of dealing with the possible outbreak of COVID-19, ward officials of Kispang Rural Municipality in central Nepal are using the lockdown period to intensify the ongoing campaign to create awareness of handwashing with soap and water as a […]
Interview with Alexis Tobada of Benin’s National Water Institute By Alain Tossounon Sociologist and speaker at Benin’s National Water Institute, Mr Alexis Tobada has a long experience in raising awareness for the adoption of hygiene and sanitation practices and, in particular, handwashing with soap and water. In this interview, Mr Tobada expresses his determination to […]