GI-ESCR joins coalition issuing a “call to action for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.”
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has joined a coalition of organizations issuing a “call to action for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.” PRESS RELEASE
NGOs demand unequivocal support for the right to safe drinking water and sanitation at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille
March 13, 2012 - More than 40 national and international NGOs join in a “Call to Action” for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation at the 6th World Water Forum taking place from 12-17 March 2012 in Marseille, France.
With more than 25 000 expected participants, 140 ministerial delegations, and more than 180 countries represented, the World Water Forum is the world’s largest gathering dealing with water and sanitation issues. The slogan of the 6th edition of the Forum is "It’s time for solutions and commitments”. Yet the current draft Ministerial Declaration of the Forum falls short of reaffirming commitments on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation that virtually all States have already made at the United Nations level.
In a response to that, a coalition of more than 40 national and international civil society organizations have joined together in a “Call to Action” to demand unequivocal support for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation from governments participating in the forum. The Call to Action urges the states participating in the 6th World Water Forum to explicitly and unequivocally reaffirm their prior commitment to the right to safe drinking water and sanitation and to insist on amendments to the draft ministerial declaration to reflect human rights language that has been agreed by the United Nations.
Thorsten Kiefer, Executive Director of WASH United, the organization initiating the “Call to Action”, states: „The Ministerial Declaration of the 6th World Water Forum must unequivocally reaffirm the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. If the Forum should fail to generate the political will to achieve that, it will clearly have failed to even begin to meet its aspiration of providing solutions for the billions of people living without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. It’s time for this multi-million Euro mega-event to prove that it is part of the solution, and not part of the problem.”
The coalition supporting this Call to Action, initiated by WASH United, includes (in alphabetical order): Association for International Water Studies, ACT Alliance, Alliance for Democracy, Amnesty International, African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW), Blue Planet Project, Both ENDS, Bread of Life Development Foundation, Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Christian Council of Lesotho, CONIWAS, Council of Canadians, End Water Poverty, European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), FAN South Asia (FANSA), FAN South America (FANAS), Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (GI-ESCR), Human Rights First Society, H2O for Life, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), Near East Council of Churches, Preachwater Foundation, Public Services International, Sanitation and Water for Africa (SWA), Thirsting for Justice campaign, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), UWASNET, WASH Advocates, WASH-Net Sierra Leone, German WASH Network, WASH United, Water For People, Water is Right Foundation, WaterLex, Water Pressure Group, World Council of Churches (WCC), WellFound, World Toilet Organization (WTO).
On Friday, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, issues a press release warning that the draft Ministerial Declaration fails to reaffirm the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation at the UN and called upon the governments participating at the World Water Forum to amend the text of the draft declaration.
The Call to Action will be formally released on Tuesday 13th at the World Water Forum in Marseille.
Notes for editors
The 6th World Water Forum is held in Marseilles from 12-17 March 2012. The forum takes place every three years and is organized by the World Water Council (WWC) together with the host government. This year´s World Water Forum has the motto ‘Time for Solutions.’ As part of the Forum, a ‘Ministerial Declaration’ is issued in the name of the governments participating in the Forum. For further information please visit www.worldwaterforum6.org
About the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights seeks to advance the realization of economic, social and cultural rights throughout the world, tackling the endemic problem of global poverty through a human rights lens. We believe this crisis — wherein close to 2 billion people worldwide daily lack access to adequate nutrition, health care, education, housing, water and sanitation — will only be overcome through the concerted efforts of human rights, women’s rights, environmental and development organizations and agencies. The Global Initiative seeks to play a catalyzing role in fostering these cross-sector partnerships on key issues. We can change the world as we know it into a world where all economic, social and cultural rights are respected, protected and fulfilled, so that all people everywhere are able to live in dignity.
To further this vision, the Global Initiative works to support and engage advocates, social movements and grassroots communities at national and local levels to more effectively claim and enforce economic, social and cultural rights, including by engaging international mechanisms for local impact. We work to strengthen the international human rights framework through creative standard setting so that all people, and in particular marginalized individuals and groups, are able to fully enjoy their economic, social and cultural rights without discrimination and on the basis of equality. We provide innovative tools to policy makers, development actors and others on the practical implementation of economic, social and cultural rights. And, we enforce economic, social and cultural rights at international, regional and national mechanisms, ensuring remedies for violations of these rights, with a focus on creating beneficial jurisprudence aimed at transformative change.
About WASH United: WASH United is a coalition of civil society organizations, United Nation agencies, governments and sport stars promoting safe drinking Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) for all people, everywhere. WASH United is campaigning since 2010 for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, as well as for greater hygiene awareness at national level in Africa and within the context of the United Nations at international level. For further information please visit www.wash-united.org
Contact the Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Bret Thiele, Co-Executive Director, GI-ESCR
Contact WASH United
Thorsten Kiefer, Executive Director, WASH United Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; ++49-151-58574980
Laura van de Lande, Human Rights Team, WASH United Email: email@example.com
Rima Hanano, Campaigns Manager, WASH United Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please read the Call To Action HERE.