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."

March 20, 2009

Very sad news today.

CBC is reporting that, "Four Canadian soldiers were killed and eight others injured in two separate bombings outside Kandahar city on Friday, military officials said."

"The latest deaths bring the number of Canadian military fatalities in Afghanistan to 116 since Canada's combat mission there began in 2002. One diplomat and two aid workers have also been killed."

The article is at

The Council of Canadians is calling for the immediate and safe withdrawal of Canadian troops from Afghanistan.

March 20, 2009

Water campaigner Meera Karunananthan reports that she just spoke at the Youth Forum at the World Water Forum in Istanbul. Two World Water Council governors were also there.

Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians

Meera Karunananthan, National Water Campaigner for the Council of Canadians

From the stage, Meera asked the youth to put their hands up if they agreed that water should not be considered a commodity. Most raised their hands, and Meera asked Charles-Louis de Maud'huy, the alternate president of the World Water Council and an executive at the Veolia subsidiary Compagnie Générale des Eaux, to look around and take note.

Blue Planet Project organizer Anil Naidoo, who was there, notes that, "She got an extended standing ovation by most of the youth was fantastic."

March 20, 2009

The Guardian newspaper has reported that, "Earlier today the (British newspaper) The Sun said (Canadian) border security officials had declared (British MP George) Galloway, 54, 'inadmissible' because of his views on Afghanistan and the presence of Canadian troops there and would be turned away if he attempted to enter the country."

This afternoon the Globe and Mail reports that, "NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow said the Galloway ban perpetuates a pattern in which views that contradict those of the Conservative government have been suppressed. She said the Tories have adopted an 'unhealthy, isolationist, bunker mentality.' 'The minister of immigration is becoming the minister of censorship,' Ms. Chow said in an interview. 'We don't have to agree with everything Mr. Galloway talks about. But, at bare minimum, they should be allowed to express their points of view so Canadians can make decisions themselves. This is pure censorship and it's wrong.'"