Islamabad, Pakistan – September 20-21, 2006

We, the Heads of Delegations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating in the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) in Islamabad, Pakistan, September 20-21, 2006, which was attended by the Ministers, State Ministers, senior civil servants, professionals from sector institutions, academia, civil society, non-government organizations, development partners and the private sector,

i) Recognizing that Sanitation being the basic human need is essential for improvement of environment, health and quality of life in participating countries;

ii) Mindful that half of the population in participating countries have no access to proper sanitation and about one million men, women and children reportedly die annually due to water and sanitation related diseases;

iii) Being aware that poor sanitation and related health issues need pursuance of strategies in solid and liquid wastes management, provision of proper sanitation facilities for improvement of hygienic environment; and that sanitation has close relationship with disposal of domestic, hospital, agriculture and industrial wastes; and being equally aware of the need to improve social delivery system, human settlement and better urban planning for ensuring improvement in sanitation; and

iv) Noting, with acknowledgment, that the first South Asian Conference on Sanitation held in Dhaka, People’s Republic of Bangladesh, October 21-23, 2003 facilitated the participating countries for the formulation of sanitation policies, strategies and resolved to accelerate their implementation by the countries of the region and that the first conference on Sanitation also provided opportunities to the participating countries to share their experiences for meaningful improvement in the sanitation sector.

We the participating countries reaffirm our commitment and political will to achieve the targets of basic sanitation in pursuance of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Dhaka Declaration and that we further reaffirm at Islamabad to accelerate progress for achievement of adequate sanitation delivery system in a planned and phased manner by:

i) According high priority to sanitation;

ii) Strengthening inter-governmental cooperation in this region by activating the SACOSAN Inter-Country Working Group comprising of senior level representatives from the member countries to meet annually;

iii) Discussing progress on all aspects of sanitation on a regular basis by reporting at the next South Asian Conference on a common set of indicators to be developed by the Inter-country working group;

iv) Continuing to promote equity in our societies by striving to reach more effectively the hardcore poor and other disadvantaged communities through a combination of participatory approaches;

v) Striving tirelessly to increase the priority, including financial, given to sanitation by the stakeholders; and

vi) Promoting active participation of women and children in all the activities relating to the sanitation sector.

Agreeing that momentum gained at first and second SACOSAN will be further continued through hosting of third SACOSAN by India in 2008, fourth by Sri Lanka in 2010 and fifth by Nepal in 2012.

Finally we profess our profound appreciation to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for successfully hosting the Second South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN-2). We are grateful for being accorded such a warm and hospitable welcome and stay by the Government of Pakistan and thank the Government and the people of Pakistan for making this conference such a success.

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