WEB POSTED: March
Ministers Ignore Human Right to Water
Current Draft of Ministerial Statement Fails to Include Human
Right to Water
KYOTO, JAPAN - The 3rd World Water Forum will be at least a partial
failure unless the ministerial statement acknowledges the human
right to water, said Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific
Institute during a session today at the Water Forum. Noting that
the United Nations has formally recognized that access to clean
water is a human right, Gleick criticized the current draft of
the World Water Forum's ministerial statement, which has no mention
of that right.
"Every person on the planet deserves access to clean drinking
water," said Gleick during a panel discussion of the right to
water. "This is a basic human right now acknowledged by the United
Nations. But despite the importance of clean water and the international
consensus that access to it is a human right, the current draft
of the 3rd World Water Forum's ministerial statement fails to
acknowledge this right."
Over 1 billion people do not have access to clean drinking water
and over 2 billion don't have access to adequate sanitation. The
result: three to five million people - mostly children - die every
year from preventable, water-related disease.
"Acknowledging the human right to water will encourage the world
community and individual governments to redouble their efforts
to meet this critical need while keeping a spotlight on the deplorable
state of water management in many parts of the world," continued
Gleick. "Formal recognition of this human right will also help
resolve conflicts over shared water resources and focus the efforts
of water policy makers."
In General Comment 15, passed on November 26, 2002, The United
Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights has
explicitly declared that there is a human right to water.
Dr. Gleick's paper, "The Human Right to Water" is available online.
Gleick: World Water Spending
Global Water Crisis Persists as Billions Are Misspent
on Centralized Projects
KYOTO, JAPAN - We have enough money to solve the global
water crisis, but we are spending the money on the wrong
projects, said Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific
Institute in comments made during an opening plenary s
ession of the 3rd World Water Forum on water, sanitation
and health. Instead of spending an additional $80-$100
billion per year as some policy makers believe is necessary,
a small increase of $10-$20 billion - provided the money
is spent on community-scale projects, should be enough
to extend basic water access to those who currently do
not have it.
"The global water crisis, which kills millions of people
every year, is a challenge the world can and must meet,"
said Peter H. Gleick, President of the Pacific Institute.
"Although an increase in spending on the global water
crisis would certainly be welcome, the heart of the problem
is not how much we are spending, but what we are spending
it on. Instead of our current bias towards large, centralized
water projects, we must invest aggressively in community-scale
water projects that bring basic water and sanitation services
to those who need it most."