Wednesday, 28 July 2010

UN vote on right to water and sanitation

“In 2010, it is not an exaggeration to say that the lack of access to clean water is the greatest human rights violation in the world.”

Maude Barlow, in a letter to UN missions, 6 July 2010
Former Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the United Nations General Assembly

On 28th July 2010, the United Nations will consider a resolution tabled by Bolivia, supported by 33 other members, that declares the human right to access water and sanitation. It finds precedence in earlier declarations, but this will be the first stand-alone expression of the right to water.

For some, it will come as no surprise that the author of the resolution was Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon, following Bolivia’s civil battles over water privatisation.

Declaring access to water and sanitation as a human right will bring significant challenges; can we agree a universal minimum water requirement or on a level of water quality, and will the cost of water investment threaten the affordability of water? Equally, there is some concern that the importance of access to sanitation will be lost in the sexier debate surrounding water. The threat of regression on commitments to sanitation is very real.

The UN vote could go one of several ways. Advocates of a rights-based approach to development will celebrate the discussion, and if it passes, those working in water and sanitation will welcome a crucial step towards establishing universal access.

A range of civil society organisations coordinated by Blue Planet Project are lobbying to support the decision.

Georgina Rannard
End Water Poverty

UPDATE: Voting has taken place, with 124 in favor, 0 against and 42 abstaining. More information soon on the relevance to the fight against the sanitation and water crisis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We have already done enough harm to the environment…High time we woke up to see the damage we’ve caused.
We may not be able to reduce global warming, end pollution and save endangered species single-handedly, but by choosing to live an earth-friendly lifestyle we can do a lot every day to help achieve those goals.
Stand Up Take Action 2010.We need you…Globally more than 173 Million people stood up against poverty in 2009, a Guinness World Record! Let us break this record in 2010!

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