SDG 6 – to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all – is alarmingly off track. At the current rate of progress, the world will not reach the SDG 6 targets by 2030.

This interim guidance supplements the infection prevention and control (IPC) documents by summarizing WHO guidance on water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and waste management relevant to viruses, including coronaviruses. This document is an update to the interim guidance document entitled ‘Water, sanitation, hygiene, and waste management for the COVID-19 virus’, published on 23 March 2020.

SDG 6 Data and Monitoring in Asia and the Pacific: Existing Initiatives, Gaps, and Recommendations examines the current status of data monitoring for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 on water and sanitation for all. This report identifies challenges and opportunities for monitoring, a key component of the 2030 Agenda.

The world in 2020 is in a state of flux. While much progress has been made globally over the past ten years in expanding access to, and adoption of, broadband infrastructure and services, significant challenges remain in tackling digital inequalities, addressing the current widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in accelerating efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

In January 2020, the United Nations launched a global consultation to mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations. Through surveys and dialogues, people from all walks of life were asked about their hopes and fears for the future, their priorities for international cooperation and for the United Nations in particular.

There is an urgent need to take a more comprehensive approach for the transition to a low carbon economy if the world is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Broad multi-stakeholder collaboration is needed to create the integrated policies required for this deep transformation of our societies and economies.

In 2015, the United Nations launched the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and corresponding SDGs. To support this programme a Global Indicator Framework was adopted by the United Nations Statistical Commission in March 2017 and subsequently by the UN General Assembly in July 2017. That framework comprises 232 statistical indicators designed to measure the 17 goals and their respective 169 targets.

In September 2019, the High Level Political Forum noted that the world is “on track” to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. This echoed the main finding of the first edition of this report, issued in July 2019, that the world was not going to meet most of the food and agriculture-related SDG targets by 2030.

Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2020 begins with a Highlights section that presents key messages from various parts of the publication.

Part I comprises the data tables and brief analyses of trends of select indicators for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for which data were available. The indicators are presented according to the United Nations SDG global indicator framework.

By 2050, cities will be home to almost 70% of the world population, leaving no doubt that the achievement or failure of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be determined in cities.

In this rapidly urbanizing world, cities are forced to ask tough questions about how they can solve the unprecedented challenges ahead of them and COVID-19 has come to stress these and the urge for a change.