Clean Water, Sanitation Basic Human Right


Almost 900 people worldwide do not have access to clean drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation.

Studies have indicated that about 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases.

According to General Assembly’s declaration, safe and clean drinking water and sanitation is a fundamental human right.

The Assembly resolution received 122 votes in favour and zero votes against, while 41 countries abstained from voting.

The representative of Pakistan voted in favour of the resolution to help ensure access to clean water and good sanitation for all people, emphasizing that the situation of developing countries should be taken into account in implementation.

The United Nations called on its Member States and international organizations to offer funding, technology and other resources to help poorer countries scale up their efforts to provide clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for everyone.

Among the series of targets set within the Millennium Development Goals; halving the proportion of people who cannot reach or afford safe drinking water and halving the number who do not have basic sanitation is also included as one of the prime targets to be achieved by 2015. Measure to be taken;

  • guarantee the right to water;
  • decentralise the responsibility for water;
  • develop know-how at the local level;
  • increase and improve financing;
  • evaluate and monitor water resources.

The representative of Pakistan voted in favour of the resolution to help ensure access to clean water and good sanitation for all people, emphasizing that the situation of developing countries should be taken into account in implementation.

Meanwhile, floods along with the lack of sewage and proper evacuation of grey water in Pakistan have always remained one of the major threats to the environment and health.

Vote on Human Right to Water

The draft resolution on the human right to water and sanitation (document A/64/L.63/REV.1) was adopted by a recorded vote of 122 in favour to none against, with 41 abstentions, as follows:

[http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/ga10967.doc.htm]

In favour:  Afghanistan, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tunisia, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Against:  None.

Abstain:  Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Greece, Guyana, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Zambia.

Absent:  Albania, Belize, Cameroon, Chad, Fiji, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kiribati, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia (Federated States of), Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Suriname, Swaziland, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan.

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