Skip to content

NEWS: UN special rapporteur challenges ‘minority of countries’ for removing right to water in declaration

The Kuwait News Agency reports, “The United Nations Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque today warned that the right to safe drinking water and sanitation will be sidelined at the 6th World Water Forum… ‘It comes as an unwelcome surprise that the draft ministerial declaration…still does not recognize the human right to water and sanitation that has been explicitly recognized at the UN,’ said the expert charged by the Human Rights Council with promoting, monitoring and reporting on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.”

“‘Governments are being inconsistent with their prior decisions on the recognition of the right to water and sanitation taken at the UN General Assembly. If Governments spend one week discussing ‘solutions’ for water issues while failing to base them on the human right to water and sanitation, how could such solutions be for people who need water and sanitation most and are systematically neglected?,’ asked de Albuquerque.”

“In the final draft Ministerial Declaration of the 6th World Water Forum scheduled to take place in Marseille from 12 to 17 March 2012, governments – under a strong push by a very small minority of countries – have for the time being failed to explicitly affirm that the right to water and sanitation should be the basis for any solutions aimed at bringing sanitation and water for those still deprived of these essential services.”

Earlier this week, the Council of Canadians and CUPE highlighted that Canada was one of the countries that had pushed for the right to water to be excluded from the ministerial declaration.

“‘The World Water Forum is not a gathering seen as a source for the creation of international law, but it is still unfortunate that this Forum’s Declaration does not respect the outcomes of long-standing thorough and comprehensive discussions at the UN,’ de Albuquerque said. ‘I call upon the Governments participating at the World Water Forum to amend the text of the draft declaration. We still have time to do that.'”

The Council of Canadians/ Blue Planet Project Staff are now in Marseille preparing to challenge the World Water Forum, dubbed the ‘Davos of water’ in reference to the World Economic Forum corporate meetings that take place in Davos.

For our World Water Forum campaign web-page, which includes blogs, updates and much more, please go to

The Kuwait News Agency report can be read at