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article imageRight to water: Canada slapped by United Nations Rapporteur

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By André R. Gignac     Mar 22, 2012 in Environment
Canada has once again been denounced on the international scene for its repeated attempts at weakening a legally binding recognition by the United Nations of the right to clean water and sanitation.
The Council of Canadians says that, as a result of this new and extraordinary denunciation, Canada is "increasingly isolated" on the world stage. The reprimand was published by a United Nations Rapporteur on the very same day countries are celebrating World Water Day. It blames Canada, among others, for its attempts to undermine the right to water being discussed for the first draft of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development outcome document.
According to the Council, the slap was a rare departure from protocol and diplomatic language, in the sense that United Nations water and sanitation expert, Catarina de Albuquerque, mentioned Canada by name, which is not the practice in international circles. It certainly shows that the international community has come to believe Canada is going too far in its attempts to undermine a right explicitly recognized by the United Nations General Assembly in 2010.
“Some States, including Canada and the United Kingdom, are apparently proposing the removal of an explicit reference to the right to water and sanitation for all from the first draft of the ‘Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development’ outcome document,” said Ms. de Albuquerque, who is the first United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.
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