United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Montenegro and Slovenia

Division for the Support to the National Council for Sustainable Development
Date: 6 May 2014
Gender equality and women's empowerment
Water and sanitation
SI and MNE elements for 11th session of OWG SDGs
Focus area 5: Gender equality and women's empowerment
We call for a strong stand-alone goal on gender equality and empowerment of
women.
We welcome the inclusion of gender perspective in numerous possible areas for
action in other focus areas. However mainstreaming gender issues throughout all
focus areas should be further strengthened.
We would support all possible targets proposed under this goal as they
comprehensively reflect some of the main issues hindering gender equality.
We wish to point out the need that boys and men are fully informed about and
actively take part in elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls,
in law and in practice.
We would favour seeing targets on ensuring access to justice for women and girls in
order to eradicate gender based violence and discrimination, as well as women’s
equal participation in decision-making positions, including in humanitarian and
conflict-affected societies, which we see as key prerequisites for fair, equitable and
sustainable development.
We believe that harmful customary practices against women and girls should be
included in possible target g.
We support targets on ensuring respect, promotion and protection of the sexual and
reproductive health and rights that are precondition for achieving gender equality.
Therefore, we believe that this target should be reformulated respectively to this end.
We also reiterate our view that human rights of elderly women should be taken into
account with a life cycle approach, which would address the needs of women
throughout their lives in a more comprehensive manner.
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Focus Area 6: Water and sanitation
We reiterate our view that water is a multidimensional and a cross-cutting issue. We
continue our strong support for a stand-alone SDG on water and sanitation.
We welcome the approach to this goal and proposed set of possible targets. We
especially emphasise the importance of access to safe drinking water and basic
sanitation as means for the realisation of human right to water and sanitation while
upholding the human rights principles of non-discrimination and gender equality.
We highly support targets aimed at improvement of water quality, elimination of
pollution and dumping of toxic materials in water bodies and protection of aquifers. In
this regard we would like to stress the importance of applying relevant multilateral
environmental treaties and strengthening monitoring and reporting system on the
status of surface and underground waters. It is a precondition in identifying pressures
on the vulnerable water ecosystems and providing proper actions as to increase their
resilience. As possible indicator for measuring water quality we suggest Water
Quality Index as the indicator based on the method according to which 10
parameters of physic-chemical and microbiological quality are aggregated into the
composite indicator of the quality of surface waters.
We also welcome the inclusion of waste-water treatment and increasing water-use
efficiency. We have also called for the protection and sustainable management of
ecosystems that provide water-related ecosystem services, such as mountains,
forests, wetlands, as well as trans-boundary lakes and rivers.
We are also strongly supportive of targets aimed at strengthening the trans-boundary
water cooperation.
We welcome the inclusion of chemicals and disaster risk reduction and resilience
among possible targets especially prevention measures for decreasing economic
losses caused by water-related disasters and preventing derogation of the ecological
status of water ecosystems. In this regard we would also like to emphasize the
importance of providing higher level of coverage of sewage systems in both urban
and rural areas in order to prevent possible damages.
We believe that stronger link could be made with the protection of water biodiversity,
e.g. through progressing towards achievement of the good ecological status of water
bodies and making progress in controlling and reducing pressures caused by
invasive alien species to water bodies.