One year on from the adoption of the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals, they look something akin to a Rubik's Cube. The 17 Goals, and 169 targets within those, applicable to 193 countries, are a colourful and immensely challenging combination puzzle. One cannot be solved without the others; they are inter-dependent.
I recently returned from a trip to visit rural villages in Angola to look at the impact that Unicef's sanitation partnership with Andrex is having on children and families there. It's incredible to think that seven out of ten people living in rural Angola do not have a clean, safe toilet to use. This has a huge impact on the health of Angola's children and one of the reasons the country has the highest rate of child mortality in the world.
Scouts in Madagascar are delivering menstrual hygiene education and helping dispel the mystery and myths that surround periods. They also campaign for clean water and toilets for all. This is a huge issue. More than one billion women have no access to a private toilet, making it difficult to manage their periods hygienically.
A key message of the Global Nutrition Report is that ending malnutrition is a political choice that is achievable, but only with an increase in effective funding and infrastructure and much more efficient coordination across relevant sectors. This is true for malnutrition, for access to water, sanitation and hygiene, and for eradicating extreme poverty.
Taps and toilets, things we so easily take for granted, really do transform lives. I'm so proud that Scouts in the UK have chosen to take action on this important issue. In just one week, we learned so much about how we can join together with our Scout family in Madagascar, and across the world, to help get clean water and toilets for everyone, everywhere.
We need to get different sectors talking. Climate change and water are intertwined and we need to speak each other's language when it comes to planning and funding adaptation efforts. We can no longer have countries develop water policies that don't include climate risks, nor can climate planners operate without consulting key water ministries.
Since we marked the first UN-declared World Water Day in 1993, the world has made incredible progress. Yet there remain more than 650million people in the world without access to clean water, who are faced with a daily struggle involving long dangerous walks or expensive black-market vendors, just to get water that is likely neither clean nor safe to drink.
Today is World Water Day and this morning over 650million people around the world woke up with no clean water. That's one in ten people. Forced to drink, cook and wash with dirty water, people are at risk of getting sick and missing vital days of work and education, trapped in a cycle of poverty. Last month WaterAid invited me to travel to India with my 12-year-old daughter Glenys to see the situation for myself. I visited Sanabenakudi, a remote village in east India, to understand what everyday life is like for people living without access to safe water...
The future of the UN's new Global Goals and the promises to end extreme poverty, the health and well-being of those who are most vulnerable, and even the fate of peanut crops like Diallo's are all at stake as these world leaders return home to consider the promises made. What is needed next is action to ensure finance for adaptation goes where it's most needed, and that the poorest and most vulnerable are given priority.