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Call to action for the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation


We, the undersigned organizations, are deeply concerned that the 6th World Water Forum
plans to adopt a Ministerial Declaration that fails to commit States to the realization of the
human right to safe drinking water and sanitation. The 6th World Water forum is held under
the slogan “It’s time for solutions and commitments.” Yet the draft Ministerial Declaration falls
short of commitments that virtually all UN Member States have already made.

News Splash n°2 : On their  way to launch the first European Citizens’ Initiative for the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation, the Public Services Trade Unions and EPSU are seeking support from and forming alliances with all parts of civil society. This European Citizens’ Initiative concerns all citizens, not just workers. Research shows that  most of the people without good water services or sanitation are women.

News Splash n°1 : On 1 April the first European Citizens’ Initiative on water will be launched by a Citizens Committee fully supported by the European Federation of Public Service Unions. In all European countries our affiliated unions with its civil society allies are preparing for a campaign to promote implementation of the human right to water and sanitation.

On March 4 the Platform against the privatization of the Canal Isabel II and the 15-M Movement organized a popular consultation in the region of Madrid to vote over the privatization of the Canal Isabel II [the only existing canal in Spain]. This popular consultation had over 166.000 people voting. 165.000 voting to keep the company 100% in public hands and 1227 people voting against.

Professor Mildred Warner says public water boards with local leadership and input offer the best model for helping developing countries improve their water quality and delivery. European public utilities have proven to be important partners in helping counterparts in developing countries.

When the European Commission launched an investigation early this year into possible price fixing by French water utilities, the move added ammunition to campaign groups that oppose privatisation of a vital public resource.
A new report challenges the notion that corporations can deliver better service, leading to calls to roll-back liberalisation of water services in Europe and beyond.

On the occasion of Human Rights Day EPSU called for attention to the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

In 2010 this right was recognised in the United Nations General Assembly. Although many European countries abstained in the final vote, the right is being recognised in most of the EU. The Human Right to Water and Sanitation entitles everyone to accessible, affordable and sufficient water and sanitation that meets the international standards for quality.

Wednesday 14 March, 13h15 – 14h15, room PEu 2, Palais de l’Europe In the past year, two resolutions at the United Nations have reaffirmed the human right to water and sanitation for all people around the world.

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