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Speaking at a WSSCC-UNOG joint reception this week in Geneva, H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General and outgoing Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) addressed the audience about the importance of working together to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Each and every SDG is special, but it is together that they are great,” she said.
She cited the example of how the WSSCC works primarily towards SDG 6.2 but also uses this as ‘a docking station’ to promote sanitation that gives women and girls and all people a life of dignity (SDGs 5 and 10), of using sanitation to improve cities (SDG 11), to work for better health (SDG 3) and to reduce poverty (SDG 1).
The Reception, held on April 3 and jointly organized by WSSCC and the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), was attended by a vast majority of heads of permanent missions in Geneva, as well as heads of international organizations and UN agencies. The Honorable Kofi Annan, seventh Secretary General of the United Nations and his wife, also attended the Reception.
Mr Michael Møller, Director-General of UNOG in his welcome speech, paid tribute to the DSG stellar career, particularly her role as the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning and success in brokering the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He stressed that Geneva, where some 50 UN entities are headquartered or have permanent offices, is a place where the transformative 2030 Agenda is promoted and action can be taken on the SDGs.
Dr. Chris Williams, Executive Director of WSSCC, thanked Deputy Secretary General Mohammed for championing sanitation and hygiene and for underlining its interconnected role in development. Under her clear and decisive leadership of the Steering Committee over the past 15 months, WSSCC has articulated its strategy for 2017-2020 .
In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary General commended WSSCC for its ambitious agenda in sanitation and hygiene, and for the learning that she took to her native Nigeria in her previous role as Minister for the Environment to open conversations to end the practice of open defecation.
“WSSCC taught me more about the meaning of dignity, and even more that you don’t leave anyone behind,” she said.