The Blue Planet Project has been working with allies around the world to ensure that the human right to water and sanitation is explicitly named in the United Nations (UN) Declaration for the Post-2015 Development Agenda, which includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Blue Planet Project and the NGO Mining Working Group spearheaded a letter issued today making this demand to the United Nations signed by 621 organizations from 90 countries.
A media release explains, “The Declaration will be a document of political aspiration overarching the Post-2015 Development Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals. …The UN General Assembly recognized the HRTWS as a human right in 2010. Yet 40% of the world’s population lacks access to adequate sanitation and a quarter of the population that lacks access to clean drinking water. The Post-2015 Development Agenda presents an important opportunity to fulfill the commitments made by member states in 2010.”
This has been an ongoing effort.
In April 2014, a letter signed by 87 civil society organizations was sent to key UN member states stating, “It is crucial that the SDG process guarantee the progressive realization of the human right to water and sanitation now and for future generations. Furthermore, given the central role of water within a number of different SDG areas, it is vital that the human right to water be seen as a central component of other focus areas including energy, food, gender and climate change.” In June 2014, a letter was sent by nearly 300 NGOs calling for the SDG process to reinsert the human right to water and sanitation into the SDG text.
At the United Nations General Assembly last month, Blue Planet Project founder Maude Barlow stated, “For the post -2015 development agenda to reach its objective of being just, people-centred and sustainable, the goals must prioritize – for present and future generations – the human right to water for health, life, food and culture over other demands on water resources, especially industrial consumption. The goal must promote a hierarchy of water use the prioritizes basic human needs, local consumption, and healthy ecosystems, setting a zero target on freshwater extraction beyond sustainable supply and protecting and restoring aquifers and watersheds.”
Blue Planet Project campaigner Meera Karunananthan has been regularly meeting with UN member state representatives in New York on this issue in May, June and July 2014 and in March of this year.
A draft of the document is anticipated to be released by the end of this month.
The SDGs are expected to be adopted at a special summit of world leaders at the United Nations in New York this September.
Blue Planet Project calls for right to water in SDG process (May 2014 blog)