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Canada’s bid for UN Security Council seat tied to water issue

CBC reports this afternoon that, “Canada should be denied a seat on the UN Security Council until it recognizes water as a human right, a Canadian adviser to the president of the General Assembly said Tuesday.”

“‘It would be wonderful to see Canada on the [council] helping to address the critical global challenges of our day,’ Maude Barlow, who is also chairwoman of the nationalist Council of Canadians, said in a statement. ‘But if the Harper government fails to act on the global water crisis, then it simply does not deserve to take that seat.'”

“Barlow is attending the week-long World Water Forum in Istanbul, where thousands of participants, including government ministers from 120 countries, are discussing global water concerns. Securing a seat on the 15-member Security Council for the 2011-12 term is a top foreign policy priority for Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Canada is competing for the seat against Portugal and Germany, both of which have already endorsed the right to water. The election will take place in October 2010.”

“Canada and the United States have been the strongest opponents of the human right to water at the UN, according to Barlow, though U.S. President Barak Obama may be poised to reverse this stance.”

“‘Recognizing water as a human right is vital to ensuring that governments address the reality of more than a billion people who are currently without access to clean water,’ Barlow said. ‘Unsafe water and sanitation are the source of 85 per cent of all disease and one in every six people on Earth has no access to clean drinking water.’ The UN estimates that 2.8 billion people in 48 countries will be living under water stress or scarcity by 2025.”

The full article can be read at