Friday, July 30, 2010

UN General Assembly passes historic Human Right to Water and Sanitation resolution

Council of Canadians E-Newsletter
& Media Release
July 30, 2010


On July 28, 2010, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly agreed to a resolution declaring the human right to “safe and clean drinking water and sanitation.”


After over a decade of hard work, the global water justice movement achieved a major victory today as the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognizing water and sanitation as human rights. The resolution – put forward by Bolivia and co-sponsored by 35 states – passed overwhelmingly with 122 states voting in favour and 41 abstaining.

For more than a decade the water justice movement ... has been calling for UN leadership on this critical issue. Right now nearly 2 billion people live in water-stressed areas of the world and 3 billion have no running water within a kilometre of their homes. Every eight seconds, a child dies of water-borne disease – deaths that would be easily preventable with access to clean, safe water. ...

While the resolution is a solid victory for water justice for people around the world, the battle is not entirely won.

“This resolution has the overwhelming support of a strong majority of countries, despite a handful of powerful opponents. It must now be followed-up with a renewed push for water justice,” says Anil Naidoo, Blue Planet Project organizer. “We are calling for actions on the ground in communities around the world to ensure that the rights to water and sanitation are implemented.

Governments, aid agencies and the UN must take their responsibilities seriously.”

As a result of this vote, the human right to water and sanitation is now explicitly and formally recognized at the UN.

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