• March 22, 2009 10:59 AM
  • - General

Over Twenty countries challenge Ministerial Declaration of World Water Forum


    ISTANBUL, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Over twenty countries have officially
challenged the Ministerial declaration released today at the World Water
Forum, which defines water as a human need rather than a human right, through
a counter-declaration.
    Latin American States have played a key role in gathering signatures onto
a declaration that recognizes access to water and sanitation as a human right
and commits to all necessary action for the progressive implementation of this
right.

    The growing list currently includes (in alphabetical order):

    Bangladesh
    Benin
    Bolivia
    Chad
    Chile
    Cuba
    Ecuador
    Ethiopia
    Guatemala
    Honduras
    Morocco
    Namibia
    Niger
    Panama
    Paraguay
    South Africa
    Spain
    Sri Lanka
    Uruguay
    Venezuela

    Switzerland has declared its support although a formal signature will
take months to finalize.

    In addition, nine countries have also signed onto a statement that calls
on States to develop a global water forum within the framework of the United
Nations based on the principles of democracy, full participation, equity,
transparency and social inclusion.

    This list currently includes:

    Benin
    Bolivia
    Chile
    Cuba
    Ecuador
    Honduras
    Panama
    Paraguay
    Venezuela

    The People's Water Forum, a civil society and labour coalition
representing nearly 70 countries, has called for water to be recognized as a
human right and for an end to the World Water Forum.
    "This is a victory for all our groups who have been working for over 15
years for water to be recognized as a human right," says Maude Barlow, senior
advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly.
    Discussions are ongoing and more countries are expected to sign on to the
counter-declaration.



For further information: Juan Carlos Alurralde: 05314038653; Meera
Karunananthan: meera@canadians.org, 0116133552100; Dylan Penner, Media
Officer, Council of Canadians, Office: (613) 233-4487 ext. 249, mobile: (613)
795-8685, dpenner@canadians.org