The Philippines, as co-chair of the Group of Friends (GoA) in Support of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare Facilities (HCF), hosted a meeting of GoA ambassadors on March 26, 2024 at the Mission Permanent Representative of the Philippines in New York.

The Permanent Representative of the Philippines, Ambassador Antonio M. Lagdameo, welcomed GoA members and recalled the adoption in December 2023 of the UNGA resolution on WASH, waste and electricity services in HCF, which identified areas of action to improve the lives of billions of people who lack adequate WASH services.

Ambassador Lagdameo stressed that the resolution was “just the beginning of the very important work that lies ahead: implementation,” and urged GoA members to continue raising the profile and awareness of WASH in HCF in various deliberations and contexts of the UN, including the Future Summit and the High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance, to achieve the goal of universal access to WASH in HCF by 2030.

“To this end, the Philippines reaffirms its commitment to advance the goals and commitments of this GoA, the 2030 Agenda, and the Secretary-General’s 2018 Call to Action,” Ambassador Lagdameo emphasized.

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The Co-Chair of the Group of Friends, the Permanent Representative of Hungary, Ambassador Zsuzsanna Horváth, encouraged the Group of Friends to “work with other Groups of Friends in areas such as water, antimicrobial resistance, neglected tropical diseases and health coverage universal to build bridges between two of the most important SDGs: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages (SDG 3) and ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (SDG 6). »

World Health Organization Director Werner Obermeyer reminded GoA members of the Group’s main objectives, through promoting the UN Secretary-General’s 2018 Global Call to Action on WASH in HCF and the 2019 World Health Assembly resolution to support achieving universal access by 2030.

Representatives of the GoA members – Poland, Slovenia, Nepal and Thailand – expressed their strong support for the Group’s work program for 2024 and proposed recommendations to improve collaboration with other UN agencies and offices, expand the membership of the GoA and explore the links between WASH in HCF with climate change and humanitarian contexts.

The Philippines reaffirms its commitment to advance the objectives and commitments of this GoA, the 2030 Agenda and the Secretary-General’s 2018 Call to Action

The Global Action Group in support of WASH in BAH was launched in December 2021, with the Philippines and Hungary as co-chairs, in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO). The GoA was established taking into account that investment in water, sanitation and hygiene is a necessary foundation for healthy and productive populations and is a key intervention in preparing and ensuring strengthened health systems.

The Philippines and GoA members led the UN General Assembly resolution on “Sustainable, safe and universal water, sanitation, hygiene, waste and electricity services in healthcare facilities”, which was adopted by consensus in December 2023 with the support of the WHO.


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