Skip to content

VIEW: ‘Access to clean water is most violated human right’, says Maude Barlow

Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow writes in the Guardian UK today that, “On 28 July, for the first time ever, the general assembly of the United Nations will hold a historic summit on the human right to water.”

“It will consider and debate a resolution supporting the right to ‘safe and clean drinking water and sanitation’ that was presented on 17 June by Pablo Solon, the Bolivian ambassador to the UN, and co-sponsored by 23 other countries.”

“The desired outcome of the day is consensus on recognising the human right to water. However, some governments are withholding consensus and it appears likely that the resolution will have to be put to a vote, a process that has the potential to divide the world body along north/south lines.”

“Support for the human right to water has been steadily growing in recent years but several wealthy countries – notably the UK, US, Canada and Australia – have emerged as negative forces, finding excuses not to support the resolution in its current form. …Canada hides behind the false claim that such a resolution might force it to share its water with the US…”

“Nevertheless, there is great hope that 28 July will see a historic commitment of the nations of the world to once and forever recognise that every human on earth has the right to safe, clean drinking water and the dignity of good sanitation services.”

“Every now and then, humanity takes a collective step forward in its evolution. Such a time has come again and we must be up for this challenge.”

To read the full op-ed by Maude, please go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/21/access-clean-water-human-right.

To take action in support of this historic UN resolution, please go to http://www.blueplanetproject.net/RightToWater/7days.html.