UN rejects water as human right
Canada criticized for supporting status quo
Mike De Souza, Canwest News Service
Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
OTTAWA -- The Harper government can declare victory after a United Nations meeting rejected calls for water to be recognized as a basic human right.
Instead, a special resolution proposed by Germany and Spain at the UN human rights council was stripped of references that recognized access to water as a human right... Federal officials in Canada said last week that the government wanted to ensure the meeting's outcome reflected the fact that access to water is not formally recognized as a human right in international law. But a social advocacy group said that the position was designed to protect the right to sell water under the North American Free Trade Agreement...
"Clearly [the Harper government is] happy with the status quo: They're not going to be an agent for change, and they're not going to support the right to water," said Maude Barlow, chair of the Council of Canadians. "About every eight seconds, a child somewhere in the world is dying from dirty water, and it's just shocking that our government has taken this position."
The opposition Liberals supported the government's position last week, arguing that the original UN resolution could open the door to bulk water exports to the U.S. because of NAFTA...(more at link)