UN declares water and sanitation as a human right, a proposal from Bolivia
Agencia Boliviana de Información-ABI, News, 28/07/2010, La Paz, Bolivia.
The United Nations, UN, on Wednesday approved the draft resolution submitted by Bolivia for water and sanitation were declared as a human right, said Ambassador Pablo Solon, in the international body said: 122 nations voted favor of the Bolivian initiative, against 41 abstentions and none that has opposed it. He said among the nations that abstained were the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.
Solon noted that approval from the UN member nations so that the water is considered a human right, should act accordingly to financially support programs that provide the humanity of this item, be vital to the life. The diplomat expressed his satisfaction with the decision of the UN, which for several years in the decade of 40, declared as a human right to access to education and work. It could not be less that the international body declare the water in the same category, because human beings need this element for survive and the land for produce. Solon said that humanity has the right to access clean and safe drinking water and sanitation.
The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, ratified on several occasions that the water should be a human right with free access to all citizens. “Drinking water is a service and should not be object of mercantilist actions,” Morales said, stressing that this service should be provided by States.
According to studies by the UN, at least 884 million people worldwide lack clean water completely and 2,500 million can only access this vital resource more than three miles away from their homes. Studies also point out that 2,700 million people lack sanitation and other 1,200 do not have service of cleaning and washing, no latrines.
The draft resolution submitted by Bolivia on water reaffirmed the need to protect and promote all human rights under the state’s responsibility, but highlights the need for the international community to cooperate for humanity to have access to water and sanitation. However, there are some countries that have their questions so that the water is considered a human right. For example, in England, the liberal-conservative coalition of David Cameron has said that want remove of the resolution the reference to sanitation, that it talking on access to water but not recognized as a human right. Also in Australia, Labour in power have privatized the water, while Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims it can not vote on it because it would force the country to share their water reserves with the U.S..
Bolivia has now set in the new State Constitution that water is a human right. This is established in Articles 16 and 20 which highlights that access to potable water, sewerage and sanitation is a universal human right that can not be subject to trade. For 10 years, Bolivia and social movements have engaged in a struggle to prevent private companies were responsible for treating and distributing water, to the point that won the battle.
This battle for water to be declared a human right has been brought to the UN in seeking to receive the endorsement of nearly two hundred countries that enshrine water as a universal human right. According to studies conducted by the UN, if nations do not take measures to defend the survival of the planet, there is a risk that by the year 2030 the world will not have enough water to survive, due to global warming planet. Only in Latin America is feared that some 77 million people being in the absence of the liquid element.
Morales has reported to the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December, that if the world does not take its provisions in defense of the land as a source of life, like water, the world moves to strides toward its destruction. Among these recommendations is the need for the world and its leaders to take action in defense of life, land and water as resources essential for survive the humanity.