United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Republic of Korea

Statement by Representative of the Republic of Korea
3rd meeting of SDGs Open Working Group
Wednesday, 22 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 world.

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 manner.

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.