View Full Version : UN declares clean water a 'fundamental human right'

29th July 2010, 01:55
UN declares clean water a 'fundamental human right'

Many people around the world have little or no access to clean drinking water The UN has declared that access to clean water and sanitation is a fundamental human right.

A non-binding resolution was passed with 122 nations in favour, none against and 41 abstentions.

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.

According to the UN, 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.

It "declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life".

It urges the international community to "scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable water and sanitation for all".

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.

Portuguese lawyer Catarina de Albuquerque is due to report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva next year on countries' obligations related to water and sanitation.

US delegate John Sammis said the resolution "falls far short of enjoying the unanimous support of member states and may even undermine the work underway in Geneva".

Some countries said the resolution did not clearly define the scope of the new human right and the obligations it entailed, says the BBC's Barbara Plett, at the UN in New York.


29th July 2010, 02:27
Does clean mean free from involutary additives (pollution) such as fluoride?

To what extent does this mandate state control of the resource, so as to ensure that the "right" is made available?

I smell a rat.

29th July 2010, 03:09
It will never happen as long as the world runs on fossil fuels sadly =/.

29th July 2010, 03:18
Water is big business http://www.cbc.ca/news/features/water/business.html I'm going to be positive and put this in my maybe box on positive earth changes. However what happens when the Water Barons are taken to court? I'm sure we will see. I have said it befor and I'll say it again where Big business and money/power are involved 'fundamental human rights' are often ignored, hey dont take it personally its just business.

29th July 2010, 03:31
Ok, it is a DRAFT resolution that was voted on.


The draft resolution on the human right to water and sanitation (document A/64/L.63/REV.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to none against, with 41 abstentions, as follows:

In favour: Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against: None.

Abstain: Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Zambia.

Absent: Albania, Belize, Cameroon, Chad, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan.

Does anyone know how I can get the actual freaking text of the declaration? [ A/64/L.63/Rev.1 ]

29th July 2010, 08:06
Is this is what you want? looks about right.


29th July 2010, 11:19

..... preamble omitted ....

1. Declares the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a
human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights;
2. Calls upon States and international organizations to provide financial
resources, capacity-building and technology transfer, through international
assistance and cooperation, in particular to developing countries, in order to scale up
efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and
sanitation for all;
3. Welcomes the decision by the Human Rights Council to request that the
independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe
drinking water and sanitation present an annual report to the General Assembly,17
and encourages her to continue working on all aspects of her mandate and, in
consultation with all relevant United Nations agencies, funds, and programmes, to
include in her report to the Assembly, at its sixty-sixth session, the principal
challenges related to the realization of the human right to safe and clean drinking
water and sanitation and their impact on the achievement of Millennium
Development Goals.

SO, now all we need is the definition of "safe and clean"....

Safe: Free from danger, injury, or the threat of harm
Clean: Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled

Ha ha ha I think they bit off more than they can chew. No wonder many of the developed countries abstained.


4th August 2010, 14:43
"It's a fundamental right..........but we'll have to charge you for it".

4th August 2010, 22:48
Interesting isnt it that the Human Right to water was not expressed in terms that it should be available to all - even people with no money.

5th August 2010, 00:32
Very interesting developements... i agree John, a clearer definition is needed.

thinking "outside the box" is the only way to solve this...

here is a great idea , that i believe the UN implemented in africa but failed to upkeep the equipement so the project failed..

The play pump merry go round...Kids play and pump!!


5th August 2010, 02:08
I think we don't need the UN to declare anything ... we all know far too well that clean water is a fundamental human right, nobody has to tell us that
or 'grant' us this as a right.

The only thing that such a declaration adds is "Now it is official .." but these are only words ... we need deeds.
And as Celine pointed out the UN probably (not certain apparently) abandoned their project and failed to maintain it. So it looks like
we're back to words again ... no deeds. The appearance that something is being done will put a greater part of the masses back
to sleep again ... if they are lucky people will even donate lots of money ...

I admire practical people who don't wait for some official statements, use their brains and creativity and do the kind of projects as
indicated in the video. All too often it's individuals, despite doing it on their own who stay the course.

I hope my rant wasn't too negative ... but the time for waiting is over, WE need to start doing (because WE say the time is right).