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G8 international development ministers to meet in Halifax, April 26-28

The Chronicle Herald reports that, “The international development ministers of the G8 nations will meet in Halifax in April, it will be announced today.”

“In Davos, Harper said Canada will use its presidency of the G8 to ‘champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world’s most vulnerable regions.’ Development ministers meeting in Halifax may, then, lay the groundwork for an agreement by leaders meeting in the Muskoka region of Ontario in the summer.”

Harper has said that access to clean water is a key factor in addressing maternal health and infant mortality, and that its provision ‘is within the reach’ of any of the G8 countries.

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow has stated, “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. A UN covenant on the right to water would serve as a common coherent body of rules for all nations, rich and poor, and clarify that it is the responsibility of the state to provide sufficient, safe, accessible andaffordable water to all of its citizens.”

To date Harper has opposed the recognition of water as a human right.

“Haiti is (also) likely to be on the agenda, although a major donors conference will take place in New York in either March or April so it’s not clear how much time the development ministers will spend on that country.”

The full article is at http://thechronicleherald.ca/Metro/1168160.html.