UN: Water is a Human Right
The UN General Assembly passed a resolution today on the human right to water and sanitation. The official tabulation: 122 states voted yes, 41 states abstained—including the U.S.—and no state voted against. First things first: Hooray! This is a fantastic victory that finally establishes the critical recognition that all human beings have a right to water—a vital and natural resource upon which all of us depend.
The passing of this resolution, which was introduced by the Bolivian government, should affirm that we are finally—and collectively—advancing the conversation about the human right to water. This is especially rewarding for our water activists and our network of allies who have been working on this issue for the past 10 years.
While the United States’ abstention is disappointing, we still have reason to be enthusiastic. U.S. municipalities and states are increasingly recognizing water as a human right. As this trend gains momentum, so will our ability to pressure the federal government to affirm the right to water in global forums
This resolution is not legally binding, but we are grateful for the opportunity to take one big step in the right direction. To all the water activists everywhere who have worked tirelessly to promote water as a human right—and to all the nation states who voted in support of the resolution today—congratulations!
We eventually hope to make the human right to water an internationally recognized law. Until then, we must continue to educate and inform on behalf of our mission.
-Food & Water Watch
Read our fact sheet on the right to water in the U.S.