March 24, 2009

Le Monde reports on Maude Barlow's critique of the World Water Forum. You will see in the opening line that they say "Maude Barlow is the José Bové of global water." Le Monde is the French daily newspaper of record, with a circulation of some 400,000 readers.

De nombreuses ONG critiquent l'organisation et la légitimité des débats

LE MONDE | 23.03.09

March 24, 2009

To see a terrific video from Turkey of Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow, Food and Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter, and Focus on the Global South research associate Mary Ann Manahan, please go to

March 22, 2009

Over twenty countries have officially challenged the Ministerial declaration released today at the World Water Forum, which defines water as a human need rather than a human right, through a counter-declaration.

Latin American states have played a key role in gathering signatures onto a declaration that recognizes access to water and sanitation as a human right and commits to all necessary action for the progressive implementation of this right.

The growing list currently includes (in alphabetical order): Bangladesh; Benin;  Bolivia; Chad; Chile; Cuba; Ecuador; Ethiopia; Guatemala; Honduras; Morocco; Namibia; Niger; Panama; Paraguay; South Africa; Spain; Sri Lanka; Uruguay; and Venezuela.

Switzerland has declared its support although a formal signature will take months to finalize.

March 21, 2009

Agence France-Presse reports today that, "A global ministerial meeting was putting the final touches here Saturday to resolutions for tackling the world's water crisis but activists attacked the process as a corporate-driven fraud."

FINAL DECLARATION REJECTS WATER AS A HUMAN RIGHT "The communique to be issued by more than 100 countries on World Water Day on Sunday...describes access to safe drinking water and sanitation as 'a basic human need.'"

"France, Spain and several Latin American countries were striving to beef up this reference, from 'need' to 'right,' a change that could have legal ramifications."

BARLOW SAYS MEETING SHOULD BE PLACED UNDER UN FLAG "Maude Barlow, senior advisor to the president of the UN General Assembly, said the Forum promoted privatisation of resources by 'the lords of water' and excluded dissident voices. She called for the meeting to be placed under the UN flag. 'We demand that the allocation of water be decided in an open, transparent and democratic forum rather than in a trade show for the world's large corporations,' Barlow told a press conference."

March 21, 2009

CBC reports that, "The UN General Assembly designated March 22 as World Water Day in 1992, and it has been observed every year since 1993 to draw attention to the importance of fresh water, particularly for the nearly one billion people without access to clean drinking water and the 2.5 billion without proper sanitation."

The CBC report continues, "The president of the UN General Assembly has been critical of the weeklong World Water Forum in Istanbul, where 23,000 delegates, including government ministers and business people from 192 countries, are discussing global water concerns until March 22. Earlier this week, both Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann and his senior adviser on water, Canadian Maude Barlow, questioned the legitimacy of the forum itself."