OP-ED: SOS at the UN: Four Countries Want to Deny Our Human Rights on Water -- EU Chair Denmark, the UK, Canada and New Zealand

By Rebecca Sommer

The situation is critical at the United Nations in New York City – and you can help if we are to save the UN's recognition of the human right to water and sanitation.

Anil Naidoo, from the
Blue Planet Project, 
Council of Canadians says that ”there are four countries which are blocking the recognition from the negotiation text, Denmark (chair of the EU), the UK, Canada and New Zealand.”

Thus it is effectively the 27 countries of the EU and Canada and New Zealand that want to block our human right to water!

This is serious. And criminal. Shame on them!

The 130 countries of the G77 are trying to stand firm for water and sanitation, but the UN works on consensus and if these four countries (and therefore the EU) do not back down, they will effectively change international law if they are successful in refusing to recognize their legal obligations.

This is the way the UN works, no consensus and an issue is effectively dead and will never be able to be moved forward; this despite it already having been legally recognized by the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the World Health Organization.

“Bottom line, we must pressure these 4 countries, strongly and quickly, the Rio+20 text must not go forward in the next 2 or 3 days without explicit recognition of the human right to water and sanitation otherwise it will be claimed that there is no consensus and therefore effectively no human right to water and sanitation,” said Anil Naidoo.

“If this happens, the right it will be challenged and removed from every future UN document until it is not longer even suggested….in practical terms it will have been eliminated!!!” Naidoo added.

Because of the critical nature of this situation, human rights groups from around the world are asking you to phone these 4 countries missions to the UN at the numbers below….

Please do it, each one of us can make a difference, think about it, it is about OUR HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER !!!

Here is a link for all the numbers you will need…

Tell them that the human right to water and sanitation has been recognized by the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council in numerous resolutions and they must not block its recognition in the Rio+20 text.

·      Denmark – (212) 308-7009

In particular tell them that they have a responsibility to represent the whole EU as chair…

·      United Kingdom - (212) 745-9200

·      Canada - (212) 848-1100

·      New Zealand - (212) 826-1960

 

Use this link for other EU Member States!

http://www.un.org/en/members/index.shtml

 

The best way to do it when you call:

Ask to speak to their Rio+20 negotiator if possible, ask for their name, ask for their direct email, ask them to take a message and give it to the negotiator.

Then write a letter and fax them if you can, demanding that they support recognition of the human right to water and sanitation in chapter 67 of the document entitled “The Future We Want”, which is the negotiating text for Rio+20.

We should also do this for every other EU country, especially if you are from that country!

The EU also has to sort this out internally and the other 25 countries of the EU must not allow Denmark and the UK to control the EU’s position resulting in an abrogation of their legal responsibility.

This text will be debated on Wednesday or Thursday, so you and I need to act quickly.

 

DO IT NOW!

* * *   Rebecca Sommer is an independent Human and Natural Rights Activist, and volunteer for EARTH PEOPLES    (http://earthpeoples.org/blog/)
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