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Water as a Human Right

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Comhlámh on Water Justice. Human Right to Water and Sanitation Remains a Political Mirage. Active Citizens, Aid, Civil Society, Development & Aid, Featured, Global Governance, Headlines, Human Rights, Natural Resources, Poverty & MDGs, TerraViva Europe, TerraViva United Nations, United Nations, Water & Sanitation, World Indigenous women hauling water in Chiapas, Mexico.

Human Right to Water and Sanitation Remains a Political Mirage

Credit: Mauricio Ramos/IPS - When the 193-member General Assembly, the U.N.’s highest policy-making body, declared water and sanitation a basic human right back in July 2010, the adoption of that divisive resolution was hailed by many as a “historic” achievement. But as the international community commemorated the second anniversary of that resolution last week, there was hardly any political rejoicing either inside or outside the United Nations. “This human right is yet to be fully implemented,” complained a coalition of 15 international non-governmental organisations (NGOs), whose members describe themselves as “water justice activists”.

This is one percent more than the 88 percent MDG target. MDG drinking water target being met. More than 3,000 children die daily from diarrhoeal diseases, and 88% of these deaths are due to poor drinking water, lack of sanitation and poor hygiene.

MDG drinking water target being met

So the news from the World Health Organisation and Unicef joint monitoring programme that the world has met the drinking water target of the millennium development goals is very welcome. Since 1990 over 2 billion more people in the world have received access to drinking water. And this progress has not been driven by just big middle-income countries – smaller, less well-endowed countries have also shown the way. Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. UN reports improved access to safe water. 20 December 2011 – The internationally stated goal of improving access to safe drinking water across the globe is likely to be achieved well ahead of the 2015 deadline, but large numbers of people in the world’s least developed regions will still not benefit, according to a United Nations report released today.

UN reports improved access to safe water

Reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015 is one of the global targets under the internationally-agreed poverty and social development vision known as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have a 2015 achievement deadline. UN: clean water a 'fundamental human right' 29 July 2010Last updated at 00:43 Many people around the world have little or no access to clean drinking water The UN has declared that access to clean water and sanitation is a fundamental human right.

UN: clean water a 'fundamental human right'

About 1.5m children under five die each year from water and sanitation-related diseases. The resolution was passed with 122 nations in favour, none against and 41 abstentions. Abstaining countries said the resolution could undermine a process in the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva to build a consensus on water rights. UNICEF says hardest part yet to come in providing drinking water to millions. UNICEF says hardest part yet to come in providing drinking water to millions STOCKHOLM, 27 August 2012 - As World Water Week kicks off, UNICEF says that despite tremendous progress in the last two decades in bringing access to improved drinking water sources to billions of people, finishing the task is not going to be easy.

UNICEF says hardest part yet to come in providing drinking water to millions

“There have been outstanding gains in every region of the world,” said Sanjay Wijesekera, head of UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene programmes. “However, the job is not done until every single person every day can get sufficient drinking water from a reliable source—and unfortunately the most difficult part is ahead.” Water policy needs 'radical' change to protect people and environment. The international community needs to "radically transform" the way it manages water, energy and land to ensure the needs of the poorest people are met and the environment is protected, according to the European Report on Development, published on Wednesday.

Water policy needs 'radical' change to protect people and environment

The flagship report, Confronting scarcity: managing water, energy and land for inclusive and sustainable growth, calls on the EU to adopt an integrated approach to managing the three elements to achieve universal access to water and energy, and sustainable food security. An estimated 1 billion people are still undernourished, around 0.9 billion have no access to safe water and 1.5 billion have no electricity.

Water, health and human rights. Printable version Prepared for World Water Day.

Water, health and human rights

Written by Margret Vidar and Mohamed Ali Mekouar, Legal Office, Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). Why we just can't get enough water. In many parts of the world, withdrawals of water from the world's rivers, lakes and aquifers now exceeds the rate at which nature can replenish flows.

Why we just can't get enough water

Photograph: Chinafotopress/Getty Images Some international conferences can be turgid events during which policy wonks compete to inflict a didactic death by PowerPoint on their audience. But World Water Week is a rare thing: a genuinely useful talkfest. It's where representatives from governments, aid agencies, business, the research community and NGOs come together to share ideas, form partnerships and exchange knowledge. It's the place to be every August if you're struggling to fix a water or river-related problem, or if you have bright ideas that might be helpful to others. This week's hot topic has been the nexus. In a nutshell, the upward trend in global population combined with rapid development in many emerging economies means that demand for food and electricity is sky-rocketing. How do you solve a problem like the nexus?