- The Washington Times - Friday, March 22, 2013

Move over peacekeeping. The United Nations has a new campaign: Turning the world into an “open defecation-free zone.”

Friday, the United Nations announced its latest policy drive to take away the taboo of talking about toilets and help the thousands of children who die every day from diseases due to unhealthful toilet practices — namely, using Mother Nature, not indoor plumbing, Agence France-Presse reports.

The message of the World Water Day campaign, AFP reports: More than 3,000 children younger than 5 die daily around the world from cholera, dysentery and diarrhea.

“Here is a silent disaster which needs to have attention,” said the United Nations‘ deputy secretary-general, Jan Eliasson, as quoted by AFP. “There is an element of tabor around toilets and open defecation.”

Ms. Eliasson vowed to speak more openly of the issue in upcoming U.N. meetings, AFP reports.

“The words which I will speak more and more often now is ‘open defecation,’ ” she said, in AFP.

The U.N. reports that roughly 2.5 billion around the world don’t have access to an indoor toilet with sufficient plumbing.