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NEWS: Right to water demanded at UN conference in Turkey

Maria Lourdes Tabios Nuera

The Inter Press Service reports, “The civil society forum at the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (is) taking place (May 9-13) in Istanbul, Turkey. …More than 8,000 people – representatives of governments, international agencies, development partners and civil society – are attending LDC-IV.”

“Maria Lourdes Tabios Nuera, a (Philippines-based) campaigner for Jubilee South-Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development said, ‘We are demanding that the United Nations declaration on the right to water should be incorporated into national legislation. Control over water resources and services must be in the public domain and should not be privatised. Water sources must be shared equitably by all and need to be protected and managed properly, democratically and sustainably.’ …Nuera said privatisation has led to reduced access for marginalised and impoverished communities and the violation of the human right to water.”

“Wubitu Hailu, managing director of an Ethiopian NGO, the Kulich Youth Reproductive Health and Development Organisation, said access to water and energy should be basic human rights.”

“The representatives for the women are hoping to see issues of water and energy access included in the Istanbul plan of action. …(The conference is) expected to produce a plan to lessen the burden of poverty, hunger and disease on the world’s most vulnerable people by May 13.”

Modern Ghana adds, “The draft Istanbul Programme for Action made a commitment to aim for sanitation and water for all in LCDs by 2020, but this is in danger of being watered down having no particular target and instead aiming for a ‘significant reduction’ in numbers of people who do not have clean drinking water or basic sanitation. …In the lead up to the conference, the 350,000 campaigners took to the streets in over 80 countries across the globe, as part of global campaigning group, End Water Poverty’s The World Walks for Water event. Marches took place in many of the LDCs including Nepal, Timor Leste, Bangladesh, Uganda and Malawi.”

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