Thank you for the opportunity to address today's special side event on SDG6. I commend both UN Water and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs for organizing today's discussion and for their unwavering commitment to water and sanitation for all.
This discussion is sadly necessary. With more than half of the world's population continuing to lack access to proper sanitation, and with a third of the population lacking access to safe drinking water, we are not only behind on targets – that would be too institutional an assessment – we are failing our responsibilities to our fellow human beings. As I said during the High-level Meeting on Water in March, "it is a moral failure that we live in a world with such high levels of technical innovation and success, but we continue to allow billions of people to exist without clean drinking water or the basic tools to wash their hands. And make no mistake, this is a global failure that has far-reaching implications for all of us."