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article imageCouncil of Canadians asks Harper not to obstruct UN vote on water

By KJ Mullins     Jul 8, 2010 in Politics
The Council of Canadians is concerned that Prime Minister Harper is working behind the scenes to weaken the UN General Assembly's resolution of declaring the human right to "safe and clean drinking water and sanitation."
The resolution for safe water that has been presented by the Bolivian government is being endorsed by several countries.
"This is the first time the General Assembly has been asked directly to deal with this issue and presents a huge test for the world," Council of Canadians Chairperson Maude Barlow said in a press release. "When the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights was written, no one could foresee a day when water would be a contested area. But in 2010, it is not an exaggeration to say that the lack of access to clean water is the greatest human rights violation in the world."
Barlow said that Canada should be denied the seat on the UN Security Council if the Harper government obstructs the upcoming vote on the right to water at the General Assembly.
"The Harper government has consistently obstructed progress on the right to water at the UN," says Council of Canadians National Water Campaigner Meera Karunananthan. "With much of Canada gripped by a serious heat wave, the Harper government still seems oblivious to the realities of increasing water scarcity and climate change. It's clear most Canadians support the right to water, so the question is why doesn't Harper?"
Barlow and Anil Naidoo, an organizer for the Council of Canadians Blue Planet Project, are in New York to brief the Group of 77 on water in June.
Worldwide there are 1.2 billion people without access to clean water and 2.6 billion that do not have access to basic sanitation.
Naidoo said in a press release, "For years, in other UN processes, we have seen Canada obstruct progress on the human right to water. Now the issue is at the General Assembly. If Canadians do not let this government know blocking progress on the human right to water is not acceptable, Canada will be known as the country that blocked the human right to water, a stain that will not easily disappear."
More about Council canadians, Harper, Vote right water
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