Ground-breaking G20 Commitment to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for all to Fight COVID-19


India and OneShared.World collaborate in global effort

(NewswireOnline): In its final communiqué from the Riyadh summit issued November 22, G20 leaders incorporated recommendations and language provided and championed by the global non-profit organization, OneShared.World. This effort was strongly promoted by the Government of India, which played a central role in ensuring the principles made it into the final text. The new language tightly links the world’s collective investment in safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) for all with essential protection from deadly pandemics (PAP) as a central pillar of our world’s collective fight against COVID-19 – aka WASHPAP.

Paragraph 35 of the Riyadh G20 leaders’ communiqué’s states:

Water: We acknowledge that affordable, reliable, and safe water, sanitation, and hygiene services are essential for human life and that access to clean water is critical to overcome the pandemic. We welcome the G20 Dialogue on Water as a basis to share best practices and promote innovation, and new technologies, on a voluntary basis, that will foster sustainable, resilient, and integrated water management.

This significant step forward grew out of an ongoing global WASHPAP campaign, launched by OneShared.World, with the active collaboration of civil society groups, G20 governments, and others around the world. More than 700,000 people viewed “Water and Sanitation for All: The Fight Against Pandemics,” OneShared.World’s virtual event highlighting the urgency of WASHPAP concerns.

At the event, Suresh Prabhu – former Union Minister of India and Sherpa to the G20 and G7 – reaffirmed the leadership of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a champion of the water and sanitation agenda and, for the first time, committed his nation’s support to the global WASHPAP agenda. “I hope the goal [of WASHPAP for all] will not remain a goal,” Prabhu stated, “I look forward to the world community playing a key role.” India’s global leadership and role as the G20 host in 2022 will be essential to ensuring implementation of this important commitment.

Suresh Prabhu – former Union Minister of India
Suresh Prabhu – former Union Minister of India

“We look forward to working with all G20 ministries, civil society groups around the world, and many others to translate the WASHPAP principles from the G20 communique into fully funded plans ensuring WASHPAP for everyone on Earth by 2030,” said OneShared.World founder Jamie Metzl. “The revolutionary language from the Riyadh communique makes clear that ensuring water and sanitation for all is not charity but the best investment we can collectively make in fighting COVID and building a safer world for everyone — equivalent to our investment in vaccines, treatments, and other emergency pandemic responses.”

To help translate the broader concept of interdependence into a reality improving the lives of real people, OneShared.World launched its global WASHPAP campaign in July 2020 and worked tirelessly to secure the support of G20 governments, civil society groups, and others. OneShared.World and partner organizations are now planning an even more ambitious and larger push, at all levels, toward realizing the goal of WASHPAP for all. This effort will begin with a socially distant outdoor gathering in one of the poorest communities in Bangladesh where local residents will discuss on film how the WASHPAP challenge can best be solved on the local, national, and global levels and be included in a process designing the ideal physical and social toilet infrastructure for resource-poor environments. This model will be replicated in other communities and countries, and insights from these dialogues will be shared with health ministries around the world to help guide next steps.

Jamie Metzl
Jamie Metzl

“The only way we can solve global problems for the common good,” Metzl said, “is systematically and together. That is what we are trying to do.”

About One Shared World:

OneShared.World is a broad and inclusive movement of people in 115 countries on five continents working collaboratively across diverse cultures, communities, ethnicities, generations, and nations to ensure a better future for humankind and the sustainability of our common home. The organization is building a fully inclusive, global social movement and political force representing the democratic expression of our common humanity. The organization’s Declaration of Interdependence has been translated into 19 languages.