African ministers endorse ‘Durban Declaration’ for SDGs implementation


Eventually, waking up to the realties arising from the growing exposure to unsafe drinking water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene in the African Region, ministers and senior officials who gathered for the World Water Day Celebrations and the Global Launch of the UN World Water Development Report 2017, emerged with a five point action plan upon which the hopes of sustainable use and management of water resources could be assuaged.

The ministers including the High Level Panel on Water (HLPW), African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), Inter-sectoral Ministers, UNESCO Special Envoy for Water in Africa United Nations (UN) Agencies, Provincial and Local Governments, Business people, Labour Major Groups (Women, Youth, people living with disability) and representatives of governments and Civil Society had met in Durban, South Africa at the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), and called for action towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal-six on Water and sanitation.

The ‘Durban Political Declaration’ recalled the African Union Heads of State and Government decision on the implementation of the July 2008 Assembly Declaration on the Sharm El Sheikh Commitments for Accelerating the Achievement of Water and Sanitation Goals in Africa; the eThekwini Declaration on Sanitation and its accompanying actions adopted in South Africa in February 2008.

They resolved to support and share the best Practice Models initiatives championed by regional leaders who serve as members of the High Level Panel on Water, (South Africa, Senegal and Mauritius) as well as request the African Heads of States and Government through African Union Commission (AUC) to prioritize Water and Sanitation as central to Africa’s Economic Development and Growth.

In addition designate AMCOW as the Technical Advisory Committee within AU Specialized Technical Committee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment to champion the implementation and monitoring of SDG 6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) at the political level.

The delegates agreed to increase budgetary allocation to match the central role of water security and sanitation in Agenda 2030 and in line with the Sharm El Sheikh declaration, request AMCOW, African Development Bank (AfDB) and AUC in collaboration with development partners, to convene meetings of ministers responsible for Water, and Finance to develop and implement appropriate financing policies and models for water and sanitation.

They also plans to strengthen national and trans-boundary water institutions, through collaboration to enhance water security in ensuring effective and efficient governance mechanisms; and evidence-based planning.

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