United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Statement by Counsellor Hanseung Kum
of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Korea
3rd formal meeting of SDGs Open Working Group
Friday, 24 May 2013, New York
Mr. Co-chairs,
At the outset, I would like to thank the Co-chairs for organizing the 3rd
meeting of the SDGs Open Working Group (OWG). I would also like to
commend the Technical Support Team for providing the issue brief which is
very useful in assessing the current conditions of water and sanitation in the
Mr. Co-chairs,
The MDG target on improved drinking water was met in 2010, five years
ahead of schedule. However, despite this historic achievement, over 700
million people still live without access to improved water sources for
drinking and 2.5 billion people are still without improved sanitation.
Discrimination and inequalities regarding access to water and sanitation
remain pervasive and continue to spur instability.
Furthermore, the current MDG framework did not address the broader water
agenda, such as water quality, and development and management of water
resources and wastewater. The SDGs on water and sanitation need to build on
the undoubted strengths of the MDG while simultaneously addressing the
critical issues overlooked or unfinished.
With this in mind, the Republic of Korea would like to make some
suggestions related to SDGs on water and sanitation.
First, we propose three targets on water and sanitation: 1) universal access to
safe drinking water, improved sanitation, and hygiene, 2) improved integrated
water resource management and water use efficiency and 3) increased
wastewater management and pollution prevention. These targets should be
accompanied by measurable indicators, such as the proportion of households
that obtained a sufficient quantity from a safe source for a specific duration of
time for target 1. We believe taking these steps would allow for effective
integration of the three dimensions of sustainable development.
Second, we believe that issues of water and sanitation could be integrated
into the SDGs framework either as stand-alone goals or as aspects of different
goals. We are flexible with either option. However, we believe that the latter
option would facilitate our efforts in limiting the number of goals and also
allows for interlinked issues to be addressed jointly.
Third, the MDGs’ focus on aggregate outcomes failed to effectively address
the issue of inequality. The SDGs must aim to eliminate inequalities by
setting concrete targets and by requiring the disaggregation of data by gender,
age, and disadvantaged groups so that they can be monitored in a holistic
Mr. Co-chairs,
A well-designed set of SDGs would provide the international community
with the much needed opportunity to truly collaborate on achieving
sustainable development. To this end, the Republic of Korea looks forward to
making substantial effort in not only creating the parameter of these historic
goals, but also implementing them to the fullest extent possible to ensure a
brighter future for the next generations.
Thank you.