Showing posts from August 1, 2010

UN vote declares right to clean water and sanitation a human right: U.S. abstains

The United Nations General Assembly declared today that clean drinking water and sanitation are human rights.

Rights to water have been included in conventions on the rights of women, children and those with disabilities, but never as a general human right.

Of the 192 member states: 122 voted in favor of the non-binding resolution, zero against and 41 abstained, including the United States.

John F. Sammis, Deputy Representative to the Economic and Social Council, explained in a statement that the U.S. felt the resolution potentially undermines work being done by the Switzerland-based Human Rights Council to situate a right to water within the body of international law.

According to Sammis’ statement: “The United States regrets that this resolution diverts us from the serious international efforts underway to promote greater coordination and cooperation on water and sanitation issues. This resolution attempts to take a short-cut around the serious work of formulating, articulating and upho…