Published in: 2016
The University of Queensland, Australia
Hall, N. et al.
Australia is positioned next to south-east Asia, where one billion people lack access to adequate sanitation facilities. Only half the population in the Pacific Island countries have access to such facilities, while poor hygiene and unsanitary living conditions have contributed to children in remote Australian Aboriginal communities experiencing a higher rate of common infectious diseases than in large urban communities. In 2015, the UN updated its development agenda, outlining 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved in all countries globally by 2030. The SDGs included a goal specifically focused on water and sanitation (SDG 6), to ‘ensure access to water and sanitation for all’.
Australia is one of the 193 UN member countries that formally agreed to the SDGs. Australia has outlined its commitment to the SDGs through its foreign development aid and other support, but has not clarified its intended domestic implementation of the SDGs. This new UN ‘home-and-region’ perspective requires consideration of policy implementation questions as to how Australia should address the water-related aspects of the SDGs to deliver equity and wellbeing both within its own borders and through assisting nearby neighbours.
Hall, N. et al. (2016). The UN Sustainable Development Goals for water and sanitation - How should Australia respond within and beyond its borders? - Discussion Paper No.1. The University of Queensland, Australia
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