Why do you think that the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meetings (HLM) 2017 are important? And how have you been involved in the preparation process for these meetings?
“As these are the first HLM after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the meetings provide a very important opportunity for sector ministers to discuss the global goals in different contexts, including what the priorities are and how the levels of increased funding can be achieved.
I’ve been involved at two levels: global and national. At national level I’m part of the team that has been leading the government preparations towards their attendance of the HLM, including sector engagement. As part of this, I’ve been informing the sector about the HLM and the general preparatory process, as well as developing the ministerial presentations to the meeting and the country reports towards the secretariat. At global level, I was engaged in developing the Common Messages that the CSOs will present during the HLM. This has been a fairly protected process of discussions and compromises. But that is part of what we were engaged in, as well as informing the programme for the sessions. As part of the CSO representation I was also part of the discussion about the programme for both the SMM and FMM.”
What are your hopes and expectations for the Finance Ministers’ Meeting (FMM) and Sector Ministers’ Meeting (SMM) 2017?
“I hope that at the end of the FMM that we will have established some fairly clear steps in terms of what level of prioritisation has been agreed upon by both sets of ministers. I really hope to see that the meeting has not just been a discussion of how the ministers should prioritise financing but that they have at least agreed upon a number of concrete steps to start a process – and I really hope they also agree to implement specific actions to increase investment within the sector.”
What do you see as the biggest challenge(s) in reaching access to water and sanitation for all?
“I think it is very important to look at what the bottlenecks were that prevented quite a number of countries not reaching the Millennium Development Goals. The high level of ambition for the SDGs was raised on the HLM’s first day including the question of whether it is the high level of ambition that should be addressed or ensuring WASH access for all. I would say that the biggest WASH challenge we face right now is to create a very delicate balance of achieving both the high level of ambition as well as ensuring no one is left behind.”