UN rejects water as basic human right

(First my comment: Please do not forget, the UN was not created for the peoples, but for the governments. It is the senate of this world. In front of this senate there exist no people’s parliament, unless you take the multitude of NGOs and other civil societies as a non official parliament. Heidi).

Linked with Maude Barlow – Canada, and with The Council of Canadians.

Published on CanWest News Service, by Mike De Souza, March 25, 2008.

OTTAWA – The Harper government can declare victory after a United Nations meeting rejected calls for water to be recognized as a basic human right.

Instead, a special resolution proposed by Germany and Spain at the UN human rights council was stripped of references that recognized access to water as a human right. The countries also chose to scrap the idea of creating an international watchdog to investigate the issue, choosing instead to appoint a new consultant that would make recommendations over the next three years.

Federal officials in Canada said last week that the government wanted to ensure the meeting’s outcome reflected the fact that access to water is not formally recognized as a human right in international law. But a social advocacy group said that the position was designed to protect the right to sell water under the North American Free Trade Agreement …


… The UN’s high commissioner for human rights, Louise Arbour, said last week that the position doesn’t reflect Canada’s traditional role on the international stage.

“Canada is taking a position that is not the more classic perceived, Canada as the kind of the bridge builder, peacemaker, consensus maker,” Arbour told the CBC.

Meantime, Barlow denied that the resolution would require Canada to make bulk water exports to the U.S.

“The requirement in the United States would be for them to conserve first,” said Barlow. “There’s no requirement as a human right for us to provide water for swimming pools and golf courses and fountains in Las Vegas.”

A spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Department said in an e-mail that there was “no consensus among states regarding the existence, scope or content of such a right”. (full text).

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