King attends virtual UNSGAB +5 meeting
On the afternoon of Friday 12 February 2021, His Majesty the King participated in an informal meeting of the former members of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB). In 2006 King Willem-Alexander, at the time still Prince of Orange, was asked by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to chair UNSGAB. He stepped down as Chair in 2013 after his investiture as King.
At the UNSGAB +5 meeting, participants shared information and insights on the current status of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water and sanitation. The virtual gathering was an informal meeting. In addition to King Willem-Alexander, other participants included former UNSGAB Honorary President His Majesty the Emperor Naruhito of Japan, final Chair Dr Ursula Eid and representatives of several other relevant UN organisations.
From 2004 to 2015, UNSGAB raised global awareness, encouraged discussion and influenced decision-making on matters concerning drinking water, sanitation, integrated water management and the prevention of water pollution. Thanks in part to these efforts, millions of people gained access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation. In 2015, UNSGAB played an important role in formulating the SDGs for water and sanitation. The board was phased out following the transition from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the SDGs. Many board members have nonetheless remained involved in this field of work. It was at the initiative of the final UNSGAB Chair, Dr Eid, that the group met again.