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NEWS: UN General Assembly poised to vote on the right to water

The Council of Canadians issued a media release today that states, “The UN General Assembly is poised to vote on a draft resolution declaring the human right to ‘safe and clean drinking water and sanitation’ presented by the Bolivian government and endorsed by several other countries. The Council of Canadians and other organizations fear that Canada is working behind the scenes to weaken the resolution before it goes for a vote at the end of the July as it has on previous occasions at the UN Human Rights Council.”

Barlow says, “This is the first time the General Assembly has been asked directly to deal with this issue and presents a huge test for the world. When the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights was written, no one could foresee a day when water would be a contested area. But in 2010, it is not an exaggeration to say that the lack of access to clean water is the greatest human rights violation in the world. This would be one of the most important things the UN has done since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Canadians need to be aware that the Harper government is one of the primary obstacles to the international recognition of the right to water.”

National water campaigner Meera Karunananthan adds, “The Harper government has consistently obstructed progress on the right to water at the UN. With much of Canada gripped by a serious heat wave, the Harper government still seems oblivious to the realities of increasing water scarcity and climate change. It’s clear most Canadians support the right to water, so the question is why doesn’t Harper?”

Barlow’s letter to all United Nations ambassadors and permanent missions is available on-line at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3966.

A recent Canwest News Service on the right to water resolution can be read at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=3966.

Our ‘ACTION ALERT: Demand that Canada support UN right to water resolution’ is at http://canadians.org/action/2010/RTW-June-18.html.