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Top UN Leader Calls for Creation of the Right to Water

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Filed: Country: Philippines
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On the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights there are strong calls to establish the right to water.

United Nations General Assembly President, Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, called on countries to establish the right to water for their people on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This historic call is being met with praise from Maude Barlow, a leading water rights advocate and expert.

"We should recognize that the right to water is a human right, and water cannot therefore be treated as a commodity that is bought and sold," said President d'Escoto Brockmann in his speech. "The right to water should unite us in building a new model of sustainable human development."

"President d'Ecoto Brockmann's endorsement of water as a human right is a call to action," says Maude Barlow, National Board Chair of Food & Water Watch and newly appointed Senior Advisor on Water Issues to President d'Escoto Brockmann. "This is a wonderful opportunity to advance a more democratic and transparent method of policy making around water at the global level than now exists. Without water there is no life, water is a public good, and a human right."

But everyday the human right to water is violated. Every 8 seconds a child dies from drinking dirty water. The right to water means that states have three key obligations to protect this right for their people:

  • To respect that right the state must refrain from any action or policy that interferes with the enjoyment of the human right.
  • Prevent third parties from interfering with the enjoyment of the human right.
  • To fulfill that basic right requires the state to take measures to ensure the realization and the protection of this right.
To protect the right to water, governments must adopt measures to restrain practices that deny equal access to water, pollute source water, or unsustainably extract water resources. "There can be no human right to water without clean, available fresh water in the first place and we are dangerously in peril as a planet of losing this life and death resource," said Barlow.

A right to water covenant would make both state obligations and violations more visible to citizens. Within a year of ratification, states would be expected to put in place a plan of action, with targets, policies, indicators, and timeframes to achieve the realization of this right. As well, states would have to amend domestic law to comply with the new rights. In many cases, this will include constitutional amendments. Some form of monitoring of the new rights would also be established and the needs of marginalized groups, such as women and indigenous peoples, would need to be addressed.

Read more here about what the "Right to Water," really means for billions of the world's poorest people.

http://www.alternet.org/water/112111/top_u...right_to_water/

Edited by Mister Fancypants

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
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It's true... at first i was going to post a smart comment... but then i thought about it, and it is true. In some places, the government won't allow poor people to access clean & natural water supplies. It's pretty messed up...

And now my smart comment: How many drafts of how many documents will they actually have to write and push around and then push around again to pass this policy...? :innocent:


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Filed: Country: Philippines
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It's true... at first i was going to post a smart comment... but then i thought about it, and it is true. In some places, the government won't allow poor people to access clean & natural water supplies. It's pretty messed up...

And now my smart comment: How many drafts of how many documents will they actually have to write and push around and then push around again to pass this policy...? :innocent:

What has happened is that a lot of Third World countries have sold off their waterways to private international companies, often times to pay off their debt.

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