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Developing Countries: Water

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 17 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions his Department has had with other governments about placing the issues of water and sanitation on the agenda of the forthcoming G8 meeting. (178922)

The G8 summit in Japan is an important opportunity to galvanise greater action on water and sanitation, particularly since 2008 is the UN’s International Year of Sanitation. As the largest bilateral donor in the sector, Japan has already identified water and sanitation as one of the key issues under its presidency. We welcome this. The UK worked hard throughout 2007 with Japan to raise the profile of water and sanitation, and will continue to do so during 2008. In particular we are pressing for a G8 commitment to a revised and strengthened Evian Water Action Plan (agreed at the 2003 summit).

The first preparatory meeting of representatives of the Heads of State was held in Tokyo on 10 and 11 January. They discussed water and sanitation in the context of climate change and the environment, and through its links to health. The next meeting will be in March. In the interim we will continue to work closely with our Japanese colleagues to ensure water and sanitation remain high on the summit agenda.