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NEWS: World Council of Churches says Canada, UK oppose the right to water

Rev. William Ingram Presbyterian Church in Canada

The World Council of Churches Central Committee has “issued a statement strongly welcoming the recognition of water and sanitation as a human right by the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council. …Following (these UN decisions), the WCC Central Committee (has) now urged its member churches to continue the advocacy work affirming the right to water as the right to life. …At the national level, the Central Committee encouraged governments to continue their engagement but to take further steps in order ‘to incorporate the right to water and sanitation into national legislation and policies’.”

The World Council of Churches is a worldwide fellowship of 349 global, regional and sub-regional, national and local churches. The fellowship includes denominations collectively representing a Christian population of some 590 million people in nearly 150 countries in all regions of the world.

Rev. Carmen Lansdowne, United Church of Canada

Their statement says, “A very limited number of governments have not yet publicly affirmed the rights to water and sanitation. Even fewer remain that continue to explicitly reject either the right to water or the right to sanitation. Included among the most prominent are the United Kingdom and Canada.”

Since 2006, “efforts to promote the human right to water and sanitation have been made through the Ecumenical Water Network, a WCC-based international network of churches and Christian organizations, promoting preservation, responsible management and the equitable distribution of water. …The Ecumenical Water Network will continue its advocacy for implementation of the right to water and sanitation with the Seven Weeks for Water Lent campaign 2011. …The weekly meditations for the seven weeks of Lent are a way of trying to raise awareness of water and justice around World Water Day on 22 March.”

Rev. Canon John Alfred Steele, Anglican Church of Canada

The Council of Canadians has been calling for the Canadian government to recognize the right to water and sanitation both nationally and internationally. More on that at http://canadians.org/RTW and http://blueplanetproject.net/.

WCC statements are at http://www.oikoumene.org/en/news/news-management/eng/a/article/1634/wcc-calls-governments-for.html, http://www.oikoumene.org/en/news/news-management/eng/a/article/1634/wcc-calls-governments-for.html, and http://www.oikoumene.org/en/news/news-management/eng/a/article/1634/wcc-calls-governments-for.html.

PHOTOS: (top-bottom) – Rev. William Ingram, Presbyterian Church of Canada; Rev. Carmen Lansdowne, United Church of Canada; Rev. Canon John Alfred Steele, Anglican Church of Canada