Council of Canadians celebrates UN General Assembly recognition of human right to water

July 28, 2010

After over a decade of hard work, the global water justice movement achieved a major victory today as the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly in favour of recognizing water and sanitation as human rights. The resolution – put forward by Bolivia and co-sponsored by 35 states – passed overwhelmingly with 124 states voting in favour and 42 abstaining.

“It was a great honour to be present as the UN General Assembly took this historic step forward in the struggle for a just world,” says Maude Barlow, national chairperson of the Council of Canadians. “It is sad however, that Canada chose not to participate in this important moment in history.”

The organization is calling on states to build on this victory.

“This resolution has the overwhelming support of a strong majority of countries, despite a handful of  powerful opponents. It must now be followed-up with a renewed push for water justice,” says Anil Naidoo, Blue Planet Project organizer. “We are calling for actions on the ground in communities around the world to ensure that the rights to water and sanitation are implemented.

Governments, aid agencies and the UN must take their responsibilities seriously.”

As a result of this vote, the human right to water and sanitation is now explicitly and formally recognized at the UN.

“Canada’s abstention from the vote will not excuse it from the work that needs to be done to maintain and improve its public water and sanitation systems for all peoples living in Canada, including Indigenous communities who have lived for generations without adequate infrastructure,” says Meera Karunananthan, national water campaigner at the Council of Canadians.

Leave a Reply