Maude Barlow is senior adviser on water to the president of the United Nations. Her letter to the editor appeared in the Globe and Mail 20 Mar 09.
So the Harper government's effort to win a seat on the UN Security Council could be hampered by its decision to transfer aid from Africa to Latin America (CIDA Cuts To Africa Could Hamper UN Ambitions - G&M 16 March 09). There is an additional concern: I believe the Harper government should be denied a seat on the UN Security Council until it formally recognizes water as an international human right, a right it has rejected at the UN Human Rights Council.
Unsafe water and sanitation are the source of 85 per cent of all disease, and one in every six people on Earth has no access to clean drinking water. A UN covenant would clarify that it is a state's responsibility to provide sufficient, safe, accessible and affordable water to all of its citizens.
If the government fails to act on the global water crisis, it simply does not deserve the leadership role it covets at the United Nations.
-- Maude Barlow
See also Maude Barlow's Blue Planet; Council of Canadians Right to Water campaign; 1h20.org; Water Integrity Network / Transparency International Global Corruption report (2008); previous posts here on water , food, MDGs; Water for the Ages blog with links, by Abigail Brown, a water expert in Oregon; IDRC e-book Water as a Human Right for the Middle East and North Africa (2008), and the Global Elders campaign Every Human Has Rights