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World Toilet Summit Opens in Macau
Date:11/4/2008

Summit Urges the International Community to Work Together to Improve Global Sanitation Standards to Prevent the Spread of Waterborne Diseases That

Endanger Millions Every Year

MACAU, Nov. 4 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The eighth annual World Toilet Summit and Expo will commence in Macau today with a keynote address from His Royal Highness, Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, Chair of the United Nations Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation.

The summit, organised by the World Toilet Organization (WTO), MP Asia (MPA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), will bring together United Nations agencies, civil society groups, industry pioneers, and other stakeholders in the international development community to discuss strategies for accelerating progress on worldwide sanitation issues.

The three day agenda, which facilitates an exchange of ideas between the public and private sectors, will focus on tackling the sanitation challenges of the world including promoting clean toilets in poor areas as well as improving hygiene standards in developing countries such as China and India.

Other speakers at the summit include: Jack Sim, Founder, World Toilet Organization (WTO), Singapore; Arjun Thapan, Director General, Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank, Philippines; and Tam Vai Man, Raymond, Chairman of the Administration Committee, Instituto para os Assuntos Civicos e Municipais, Macau.

WTO and International Code Council (ICC) will also be signing a Memorandum of Understanding which will see the introduction of initiatives to promote global codes of practice for the design and construction of toilets. The first of these initiatives entitled 'Potty Parity' is to be debated at the event, and will look to review and address the ratio of female to male cubicles in public toilets.

According to the Founder of the WTO, Mr. Jack Sim, the meeting will address how to provide affordable, environmentally friendly and basic access to sanitation for the estimated 2.5 billion people in the world who still do not have access to a hygienic toilet. The United Nations has set a mandate to halve this figure by 2015 as part of its Millennium Development Goals.

"To work towards the goals with urgency, it is important to get the perspectives from all stakeholders and galvanise their support," commented Mr. Sim. Day 1 highlights will hence include sessions entitled:

-- I Want Sanitation: The Community Perspective

-- I Have a Responsibility in Providing Sanitation: The Government

Perspective

-- I Can Be Your Partner in Providing Sanitation: The Private Sector

Perspective

Delegates during the second day will be able to select from a wide variety of optional workshops that range from 'Capacity Building' to 'Sanitation Toilet Design, Technology and Application for Rural Landscapes', 'Disaster Sanitation' and 'Tourism Sanitation'.

There will also be an opportunity on Day 3 for participants to attend a Health and Hygiene session chaired by the World Health Organization, a Social Funding and Solutions forum led by Ashoka Innovators for the Public, as well as a visit to well known attractions around the enclave including the Ruins of St. Paul, Lotus Square, Taipa Houses Museum and the Macau Grand Prix track.

During the site visit, delegates will be able to learn about the public toilets installed at these venues and related issues pertinent to their management, maintenance and upkeep.

Another attraction is also the summit exhibition which will feature toilet and sanitation solutions including a Sustainable Sanitation Pavilion exhibiting the latest dry toilet technology and processes and Portable Sanitation Pavilion showcasing self-contained portable washroom facilities.

Display of new sustainable technologies will be exhibited including innovations from self-cleaning toilets and solar-powered commodes that run without water, to recyclable systems which by converting waste into biogas can be used to provide hot water for bathing and washing purposes. Leading names from the industry include platinum sponsor, Geberit Group, a European maker of flushing toilet and piping systems will also showcase their latest behind-the- wall toilet where only the bowl is visible.

In conjunction with the summit, there will be a presentation by the the winners of the annual Alliance for Healthy Cities Award which goes to Korea's Mr. Jeong Yeong-Seok, Mayor of Jinju City and Mr. Seo Chan-Kyo, Mayor of Seongbuk-gu for this year.

The Alliance for Healthy Cities Award is designed to encourage cities to continually innovate and demonstrate effective and efficient ways of promoting and protecting the health of urban populations. Introduced in 2004, the award honours cities whose initiatives and practices meet pre-defined standards of improvement and excellence.

For more information, please visit http://www.worldtoiletevents.com .

Media Contacts:

Daphne Poon

MP Asia Pte Ltd

Tel: +65-6393-0238 or +65-9478-9543

Email: daphnepoon@mpinetwork.com

MP Asia Pte Ltd

Jody Teo

Tel: +853-6274-3426 or +65-9366-8659

Email: jodyteo@mpinetwork.com

JEM Worldwide Ltd.

Janet Middlemiss

Tel: +852-2857-3832 or +852-9195-7829

Email: janet@jemworldwide.com


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SOURCE World Toilet Organization
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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