Saturday, July 17, 2010

Does water = a Human Right?

It is almost an oxymoron to say that water is a vital resource critical for the survival of mankind. But is it a human right to have access to water? It's a subject and right many are fighting to have enshrined comparable to the Declaration of Human Rights. IPS [Inter Press Service] reports:

"A long outstanding proposal to recognise the right to water as a basic universal human right is threatening to split the world's rich and poor nations.

Opposition to the proposal is coming mostly from Western nations, says Maude Barlow, a global water advocate and a founder of the Canada-based Blue Planet Project.

"Canada is the worst. But Australia, the United States and Great Britain are also holding up the process," she said.

"I am loath to see this as a North-South issue, but it is beginning to look like it," Barlow told IPS.

If the draft resolution is eventually adopted by the 192- member U.N. General Assembly, "it would be one of the most important things the United Nations has done since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," she said.

The two-page draft, described as "historic", recognises "the human right to water and sanitation," and is being initiated by Bolivia."

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