lunes, 9 de agosto de 2010

UN declares the right to clean drinking water as a fundamental human right

Euro-Mediterranean Information System on the know-how in the Water Sector
( ENWIS), a program of the Union for the Mediterranean, informs in July-August 2010 that “The 3rd Commission of the 64th General Assembly of the United Nations made history last 28th July by overwhelmingly adopting the draft resolution proclaiming the Human Right to Safe drinking Water and Sanitation. Presented by Bolivia and 34 other States, the resolution received 122 voted in favour with no votes against and 41 abstentions. The resolution that was adopted "declares the Right to Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right" It also "calls upon States and international organisations to provide Financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer, through international assistance and co-operation, in particular to developing countries, in order to scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all." Whereas another UN resolution on the 'right to development' set a precedent by acknowledging the Right to food and to clean water 10 years ago, this marks the first time a resolution entirely dedicated to the Right to water and sanitation is adopted and by such an important number of countries, including industrialized. It also goes further than the previous resolution by proclaiming sanitation a human right and by clarifying the Right to water. A resolution has no binding mechanisms attached to it like a Convention or a protocol would. However, it carries tremendous political weight, enough to provoke harsh negotiations between States, to help advance key issues on the international agenda and to trigger national endorsements”.
About 1.5m children under five die each year from water and sanitation-related diseases. The text of the resolution said that 884m people have no access to safe drinking water and more than 2.6bn lack access to basic sanitation.
Abstaining countries said the resolution could undermine a process in the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva to build a consensus on water rights.
Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Botswana were among the countries which abstained from voting.
China, Russia, Germany, France, Spain and Brazil were among those supporting the resolution.

The UN declaration that right to safe and clean drinking water is a fundamental human right can be considered as a brilliant victory for all the humanity.

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