The urgent need to protect and promote the human right to water in the UN Sustainable Development Goals
In response to the exclusion of the human right to water from the Zero Draft of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) published on June 2nd, recognizing the significance the SDGs will have on the UN development agenda for the next 15 years, and echoing civil society’s consistent demands for a rights-based framework of the SDGs, nearly 300 organizations cosigned a letter titled, “The urgent need to protect and promote the human right to water and sanitation in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”
The letter emphasizes, “For the post-2015 development agenda to reach its objective of being just, people-centered, and sustainable, the goals must prioritize—for present and future generations—the human right to water for health, life, food, and culture over other demands on water resources. This is even more critical given the key role of water for achieving other sustainable development objectives such as sustainable energy and food production, gender equality, and climate change mitigation.”
The letter was shared with the UN Open Working Group on SDGs and is being circulated among various organizations and stakeholders. All those interested are encouraged to forward the letter onto their government’s UN Ambassadors. Likewise, The Blue Planet Project and Mining Working Group at the UN are calling on water justice activists to tweet messages calling for the human right to water and sanitation to be included in the SDGs using the hashtags #OWG12, #SDGs and #right2water.