International Year of Sanitation


Emblem of the International Year of SanitationIn September 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the eight Millennium Development Goals that challenged the global community to reduce poverty and increase the health and well-being of all peoples. In September 2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg reaffirmed these goals and added access to basic sanitation as a centrepiece of the poverty eradication commitments. The target to halve the proportion of the 2.6 billion people without access to basic sanitation by 2015 was defined in the Johannesburg Plan of Action (JPOI).


Despite significant efforts by governments, progress on sanitation targets has been slow and uneven. Recognising the impact of sanitation on public health, poverty reduction, economic and social development, and the environment, the General Assembly decided to declare 2008 the International Year of Sanitation. The General Assembly encouraged member States as well as the United Nations system, to take advantage of the International Year to increase awareness of the importance of sanitation to promote action at all levels.


Launching of the IYS by HRH Prince Willem-Alexander, 21 November 2007The Year was officially launched in New York on 21 November 2007 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and HRH Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, chairman of the SG's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.





The official website for the IYS 2008.

All the International Years proclaimed by the General Assembly.



Stamp catalogue


Bangladesh                  24 December 2008









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last revised: 18 July 2009