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NEWS: UN bid would deem water a human right

The Canwest News Service reports tonight that:

Canada could soon be bound by a proposal at the United Nations to recognize water as an international human right.

The motion, initiated by the Bolivian ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon, corresponds with a long-standing campaign of Maude Barlow’s Council of Canadians to crack down on bulk-water exports and the commercialization of the resource.

“A lot of us feel that there’s a desperate need for the United Nations to do something more quickly,” said Barlow, the national chairwoman of the advocacy group, in an interview from the UN. “The reason being that the water crisis in the world is getting worse, not better.”

The Canadian government has traditionally had reservations about supporting the initiative over sovereignty concerns that it could cause the country to lose control over its resource.

But Barlow said her organization would be pressuring the government “to support the notion that nobody should be watching their children die because they cannot afford water.”

She described the vote as a historic moment since the right to water has never before been put to the UN general assembly in a vote.

“This will be a process where governments cannot slip and slide,” she said.

“It will be a yes or a no. . . . By going so boldly, Bolivia is cutting through all that red tape and putting governments to the test.”


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