UN declares World Toilet Day

The United Nations on Wednesday declared November 19 as World Toilet Day following a proposal by Singapore whose envoy said he did not care if jokes are made.

"I am sure there will be laughter among the press and the public when it is reported that the UN is declaring a World Toilet Day," said Singapore charge d'affaires Mark Neo before a unanimous UN General Assembly vote in favor of the measure.

"Their laughter is welcome, especially if they recognize the prevailing and unhealthy taboo that prevents an open and serious discussion of the problems of sanitation and toilets globally," Neo told the 193-member assembly.

The envoy went on to stress that 2.5 billion people around the world do not have proper sanitation, that 1.1 billion people defecate in the open and that providing toilets could save the lives of more than 200,000 children each year.

Singapore took up the cause because of the efforts of Jack Sim, a citizen of the city-state known as "Mr Toilet" because of his efforts to improve sanition around the world.

UN Deputy Secretary General Jan Eliasson praised Singapore's action. "Proper is a question of basic dignity," Eliasson said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

UN seeks to end toilet 'taboo'

Mar 22, 2013

The United Nations launched a campaign Friday to lift a deadly taboo on talking about toilets and to turn the world into an "open defecation-free zone."

Indian rail is world's largest 'open toilet': minister

Jul 27, 2012

A top Indian minister has proposed projects worth $130 million project to rid India of the scourge of open defecation and clean up a rail system he described as the world's "largest open toilet", reports said Friday.

UN deputy chief urges action on water rights

Jan 25, 2013

(AP)—Most of the world's urgent problems boil down to water and sanitation, and global leaders must act to reduce child mortality and urban poverty, the UN's deputy chief said Friday.

Filthy toilets a blight on Asian prosperity

May 02, 2011

Fast-growing Asian economies may be flush with money but filthy toilets remain a blight across the region despite rising standards of living, with dire effects on poverty reduction and public health.

Recommended for you

Initiative to emphasize concussions are treatable

1 hour ago

At a time when the national concussion conversation instills fear and uncertainty among parents and athletes at all levels, the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program is working to change the current discussion where two ...

England's NHS appeals for more government funds

2 hours ago

Leaders of England's state-funded National Health Service (NHS) warned on Thursday that billions of pounds in extra funds were needed to maintain patient care, laying down the gauntlet to politicians ahead of May's general ...

Lose the weight, not the potatoes

3 hours ago

A new study demonstrates that people can eat potatoes and still lose weight." Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and Weight Loss in Free-Living Individuals: Practical Implications" is now available through free access from the Journal of ...

Team-based approach can improve hypertension control

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A team-based approach using evidence-based principles can be incorporated into practice workflow to improve hypertension control, according to a practice story published by the American Medical ...

User comments