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UN Designates November 19 As World Toilet Day

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UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. General Assembly has designated November 19 as World Toilet Day to spotlight the plight of 2.5 billion people who don't have basic toilets.

According to the U.N., six billion of the world's seven billion people have mobile phones – but only 4.5 billion have access to toilets or latrines.

The General Assembly resolution approved by consensus Wednesday urges the U.N.'s 193 member states to promote behavioral changes and adopt policies to increase access to sanitation and end open defecation, a key cause of diarrhea.

U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said the annual observance of World Toilet Day "will go a long way toward raising awareness about the need for all human beings to have access to sanitation."

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