Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Act now!! Sign on letter to save the rights to water and sanitation at Rio+20

19 June 2012
 
Unfortunately the new negotiating text, redrafted by the Brazilian government needs improving! Even though we achieved to have the Human Right to water and sanitation mentioned on previous drafts, the current reference to the Human Right to water and sanitation is not legally binding once the reference to the UN resolution on Human Right to water and sanitation has been removed.
 
Current text appearing in the Rio Text
121. We reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, to be progressively realized for our populations with full respect for national sovereignty. We also highlight our commitment to the 2005-2015 International Decade for Action “Water for Life.”
 
While on July 28, 2010 the General Assembly resolution 64/292 stated:
Recognizes the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights;
 
And on September 30, 2010 the Human Rights Council stated:
3. Affirms that the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living and inextricably related to the right to the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as the right to life and human dignity;
 
For more information, please read the statement from Amnesty international: 
Amnesty International welcomes plans to re-affirm the rights to water and sanitation at the United Nations (UN) Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). However, the organisation is deeply concerned that the current formulation in the draft Outcome would undermine the legal recognition of the rights to water and sanitation, rights that are essential for life, for dignity and for sustainable development. 
 
 
We must again react quickly and fight for the recognition of the Human Right to water and sanitation!
 
With those changes the reference to the human right to water is not legally-binding language and we demand legally-binding language in order to hold governments and other water stakeholders accountable when violations of the Human Right to water and sanitation occurs.
 
If you agree with the letter below please add your signature to this petition by sending an emailing us
 
We call all civil society organisations present at the Rio negotiations to contact delegates and share our demands.
 
We call all civil society organisations and social movements to mobilize in your different countries and for those participating at the people summit to join the demonstration on the 20th of June with explicit banners demanding the respect of the Human Right to water and sanitation, General Assembly Resolution 64/292 of July 28th, 2010  
 
We need to spread this information in order to create pressure. 
 
Finally we call all journalists to share this information through your media.
 

Negotiations are about to close we need to react urgently

 
Rio de Janeiro, June 19th, 2012
 
Dear Ministers,
 
We are deeply concerned with results from the Rio+20 negotiations so far, especially with respect to the Human Right to water and sanitation, and to freshwater management and conservation. The water section of the draft outcome document, which will be presented to the Heads of Government and State tomorrow, starts with a progressive statement recognizing that water is at the core of sustainable developmentecosystems play a key role in maintaining water quantity and quality Apart from this, however, the text is not action- oriented with regard to important areas, such as capacity building, social participation, pollution, droughts and floods, efficiency, and ecosystem management and protection. Overall, the text contains no new commitments in relation to past international declarations, reflecting a general trend across the document.
 
We acknowledge that the Human Right to water and sanitation will only be effective if national governments include it in their national legislation and implement it at the local level. Still, it is the UN resolution on the Human Right to water and sanitation that must be reaffirmed, not the commitments, as stated, which have not been made anywhere else. As it reads, governments are not reaffirming anything!
 
Furthermore, the current text on water seems to overlook to 40% of the global population and generate about 60% of global freshwater flow. There is thus no sustainable water management without cooperation across political borders.
 
It is unacceptable that UN Member States are settling for a text that does not directly commit states to implementing the human right to water and sanitation, and that downplays the importance of cooperation at all levels. Therefore, we urge governments to strengthen the text with regard to these two priority issues, in order to guarantee future generations the access to water and sanitation, and the protection of freshwater ecosystems and the valuable benefits they provide for people and the economy.
 
1-There must be an explicit recognition of water and sanitation as a Human Right, as established in Resolution A/RES/64/292 of the United Nations General Assembly, on July 28th, 2010. The final declaration must recognize this Human Right, and promote its incorporation into national legislations and its effective implementation and regulation at the local level to effectively contribute to poverty eradication. Member states need to commit to accelerating its implementation by all adequate means. The mention of national sovereignty is not needed as it is already in paragraphs 28-56.
 
Reflecting this, Paragraph 121 We reaffirm the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation for all without discrimination, and commit to the progressive realization of access to safe and affordable drinking water and basic sanitation for all with no discrimination, as necessary for poverty eradication, and to protect human health and dignity, and to significantly improve the implementation of integrated water resource management at all levels as appropriate. We also highlight our commitment to the 2005-.
 
2- We call on member states to reinsert language recognizing the imperative for water cooperation at all levels, and suggest the following text: "We welcome General Assembly Resolution A/RES/65/154 designating 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation, and recognize the importance of enhanced cooperation on the management of freshwater resources, both within and between countries."
 
We consider that these aspects are not exclusive to civil society. They are issues that affect all sectors and, without them, the declaration is weak and fails to put forward the basis for the future we want for our freshwater resources and the natural and human communities that depend on them.
 
Freshwater Action Network Global 
Green Cross International 
Coalition-eau
World Wildlife Fund
Stakeholder Forum
Butterfly Effect Coalition
Aguayuda
Megh Pyne Abhiyan - Cloud Water Campaign
Anjuman Samaji Behbood (ASB)
Catedra del Agua Universidad Nacional de Rosario
FANSA 
Modern Architects for Rural India 
France Libertés 
The Coastal Association for Social Transformation Trust
Helvetas
Human Development Society-HDS (Pakistan)
Crown Water Consultants 
Youth Partnership for Peace and Development and the Water, sanitation and Hygiene Network in Sierra Leone
Ground Water Institute (India)
Stay Green Foundation (Gambia)
CORAMBIENTE
FANSA Kerala
Aid Organization (Bangladesh)
EPTC/SCOPE

Action Ceinture Verte pour l’Environnement, ACVE (Burundi)

Guardianes de los Volcanes (Mexico)

FANAS Peru

Alternatives Durables pour le Développement (ADD)

Secours Catholique – Caritas France
MAUDESCO Mauritius
CEPECO (DRC)

Alternatives Durables pour le Développement, ADD (Cameroon) 

Regional Association Engineer Women
WASH United
PROTOS