Published on: 20/03/2019
Continuing our pursuit to secure the human right to water and sanitation with an inspirational event at the Peace Palace.
In our quest to expand access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, this year's World Water Day asks that we hold ourselves accountable to the most vulnerable members of society. The theme, 'Leaving no one behind', not only appeals for socially inclusive processes, decision-making and leadership, but for a dismantling of the structures which systematically silence the voices of the underrepresented and underserved.
Our global ambition for universal access to WASH is not only grounded on realising a public good, but a human right. To remind us of this important truth, IRC organised The Right to Water and Sanitation, an inspiring evening reception at the Peace Palace on Wednesday 13 March 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands.
The historic space underscored the demands made by Catarina de Albuquerque, CEO of Sanitation and Water for All and former UN Special Rapporteur on the right to water and Marriët Schuurman, Dutch Human Rights Ambassador.
Among the cross-sectoral attendees were representatives from district, regional and national governments from around the world—including the Honorable Cecilia Abena Daapah, Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources of Ghana. Many of the invited, coming to join the WASH systems symposium, All systems go! happening in parallel to the Peace Palace Human Right to Water and Sanitation event.
Overall the Peace Palace event sent a resounding message: that the collective mission for universal access to WASH, leaving no one behind in the process, begins and ends with leadership and systems-based solutions. And the benefits of realising this ambition has implications far beyond WASH.
In the words of Catarina de Albuquerque in the closing ceremony of All systems go!: "It's not just about WASH, we are a part of something much bigger. It's about the empowerment of all. We can be the opening door that will allow progress and eliminate inequalities".
Happy World Water Day!