News

MWG EVENTS DURING THE 16TH SESSION OF THE UN PERMANENT FORUM ON INDIGENOUS ISSUES

April 7, 2017

The Mining Working Group, the Pan-Amazon Ecclesial Network (REPAM) and the NGO Committee on Indigenous Peoples will be hosting two events during the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues:

Indigenous Stories, South & North: What is the Impact of UNDRIP? – Tuesday, April 25th | 2:00-4:00PM | Salvation Army (221 E. 52nd Street, New York, NY)  –  Flyer

Indigenous Peoples’ Human, Land & Water Rights: Cases from the Amazonian Region and Beyond – Wednesday, April 26th | 9:30AM-12:00PM | Church Center 10th Floor (777 UN Plaza, New York, NY) – Flyer

UNPFII 2017 Save the Date

MWG PRESENTS “DEFENSE OF LAND AND WATER: ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN” DURING CSW61

March 21, 2017

During the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Mining Working Group-organized parallel event “Defense of Land and Water: Economic Empowerment of Women” explored a proactive human rights approach to women’s economic empowerment, examining the impacts of extractive industries, land grabbing, and issues regarding the human rights to water and sanitation on women in the changing world of work. Panelists included: Catherine Murupaenga-Ikenn, Representative with the International Indigenous Human Rights Advocacy at Ngati Kuri; Sejal Dand, Founder member ANANDI – ‎Office of the Commissioners to Supreme Court in Right to Food ( WPC 196/2001); Nicolas Franke, Associate Expert in Water Policy, UN DESA; Bhumika Muchhala, Senior Policy Analyst, Third World Network. The session was moderated by Colleen Cloonan, Sisters of Mercy: Mercy International Association

Bhumika Muchhala’s Presentation

Watch the entire event here:


MWG PRESENTS “DEFENSE OF LAND AND WATER AS A STRATEGY TO ERADICATE POVERTY” DURING CSocD55

February 2, 2017

During the 55th Session of the Commission for Social Development, the Mining Working Group-organized side event “Defense of Land and Water as a Strategy to Eradicate Poverty” explored the effects of land and water grabbing by extractive industries, especially poverty, and highlighted the work of human rights defenders taking action to expose this global harm. The panel discussed issues faced by communities as well as diplomatic, political, and legal solutions.

Watch the entire event here:


2016 Archive


THE PROTECTION & MANAGEMENT OF TRANSBOUNDARY GROUNDWATER: LEGAL ISSUES & THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER

December 1, 2016

Transboundary groundwater resources are of critical importance to the prosperity and well-being of individuals and States, not only for the present, but for future generations. Their protection is essential to ensuring the Human Right to Water. As the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly discussed the law of transboundary aquifers, the Mining Working Group, along with the Permanent Mission of Palau and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese co-organized an event that discussed recent developments in the international law governing transboundary groundwater, along with ideas on the further development of this area of law. It also considered the challenges facing States with respect to managing and protecting shared groundwater resources, and discussed how lessons from international cooperation in other contexts might help chart a path forward.

Watch the entire event here.


THE FOUNDATIONS OF SDG 6 – THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION

July 11, 2016

During the 2016 High Level Political Forum for Sustainable Development, the Mining Working Group along with the Permanent Mission of Palau, the Sisters of Mercy, Salesian Missions, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese co-organized a side event discussing the ways in which the human right to water and sanitation is central to Sustainable Development Goal 6. Speakers included H.E. Dr. Caleb Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau, Léo Heller, Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Salote Soqo, Senior Program Leader for Climate Justice at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Christiana Peppard, Assistant Professor of Ethics at Fordham University, and Meera Karunananthan, water justice campaigner with the Blue Planet Project of the Council of Canadians. The event also featured written statements from the Deputy Secretary-General to the United Nations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Thomas Gass, Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Inter-Agency Affairs in UN DESA, moderated the event and noted that he would bring a summary of the event, including participants’ concerns, to the High Level Panel on Water. Panelists  discussed the intersection of the human right to water and sanitation and water justice with poverty eradication, gender equality, hunger eradication, good health, climate action, and sustainable communities. Speakers also identified and analyzed several development implementation pitfalls that are currently threatening the viability of the 2030 Agenda, the well- being of the world’s peoples, and the habitability of the planet.

Watch the entire event here.


WOMEN, WATER & WELLBEING: THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER & SANITATION

March 22, 2016

On World Water Day, during the 60th UN Commission on the Status of Women, this side event, co-organized by the Mining Working Group, the Permanent Mission of Palau, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, and Salesian Missions, addressed the intersection of the human right to water and sanitation and water justice for women. The speakers addressed the multifaceted nature of this vital resource and common good, essential for life. In addition to perspectives from government, research, ethics, and practical humanitarian responses, the experiences and wisdom of women were presented. Panelists included H.E. Ambassador Dr. Caleb Otto of Palau, Emem Okon from WoMin, Meera Karunananthan from the Blue Planet Project, Mark Gruin from International Orthodox Christian Charities, and Christiana Peppard from  Fordham University, and the panel was moderated by Áine O’Connor. The NGO Mining Working Group also honored Ambassador Otto with the Justice and Human Rights Award for his ongoing commitment to the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

Watch the entire event here.


MAISHA – A NEW LIFE OUTSIDE THE MINES

February 4, 2016

During the 54th Session of the Commission for Social Development, the Congregation of our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, the Mining Working Group, the Permanent Mission of Ireland and the Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the United Nations hosted “Maisha: A New Life Outside the Mines,” a side event eponymous of the documentary which features the stories and transformation of a community in the DRC leaving the dangers of artisinal mining and becoming empowered through education, training and alternative livelihoods. Panelists analyzed the systemic issues of entrenched poverty, underdevelopment, environmental destruction and explored the social and cultural impacts of these issues on people in a resource-rich country. The panel consisted of Charlotte Malenga Omoy, Chargee d’Affaires on behalf of H.E. Ambassador Ignace Gata Mavita, Permanent Mission of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the UN; Bernhard Warner, Maisha Film Producer; Bhumika Muchhala, Senior Policy Analyst with the Third World Network; and H.E. Ambassador David Donoghue, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN. The panel was moderated by Clare Nolan from the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd. The event also featured an abridged screening of the documentary Maisha: A New Life Outside the Mines, which you can watch in its entirety here:


2015 Archive


MWG WRITES OPEN LETTER TO POPE FRANCIS ON THE DAY OF HIS UN ADDRESS

September 25, 2015

Click here to access the MWG’s open letter to Pope Francis:

English, Spanish


HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION NAMED AND REAFFIRMED IN POST-­2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA

August 3, 2015

The NGO Mining Working Group celebrates the pledge made by Member States to “A world where we reaffirm our commitments regarding the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation […]” in paragraph 7 of the final text of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Yesterday, United Nations Member States unanimously agreed on the final text. It will be formally adopted by Heads of State at the UN Summit to adopt the Post 2015 Development Agenda in late September. The Post­ 2015 Development Agenda will shape official development policy for the next 15 years. The Agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6 on universal access to water and sanitation.

The explicit naming of the human right to water and sanitation is critical to framing and interpreting Goal 6 on water and sanitation. Moreover, it is a vital step towards empowering peoples who have been denied their rightful access to essential services and freshwater supplies while providing a tool to challenge corporations that continue to abuse the planet’s dwindling water resources.

See the MWG Press Release.


MEMBER STATES, CIVIL SOCIETY REPEAT CALL FOR HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION IN JUNE NEGOTIATIONS FOR POST-2015

June 30, 2015

In last week’s Intergovernmental Negotiations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Member States and civil society issued an urgent and repeated call for the Zero Draft to uphold a human rights-based approach in addressing the severity of the global water crisis which will pose a serious threat to the realization of the SDGs.

The delegations of the Republic of Palau, the Republic of Costa Rica, and the Plurinational State of Bolivia reiterated the importance of the human right to water and sanitation for achieving sustainable development on the floor of the United Nations.

See the MWG Press Release.


POPE FRANCIS UNDERSCORES THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER, OBJECTS TO WATER PRIVATIZATION IN ENCYCLICAL

June 19, 2015

Pope Francis underscored the importance of the human right to water and objected to privatization of water services in his highly anticipated Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si’” On Care for our Common Home released yesterday:

“Even as the quality of available water is constantly diminishing, in some places there is a growing tendency, despite its scarcity, to privatize this resource, turning it into a commodity subject to the laws of the market. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights.”

See the MWG Press Release.


NGO Mining Working Group Responds to Post-2015 Zero Draft

June 18, 2015

The text accompanying the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a reference point for interpretation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. For many it will serve as a first point of contact with the Agenda, giving a sense of its orientation and objectives. The NGO Mining Working Group presents these proposed amendments and critical rationale in order to improve the Agenda in five main ways:

  1. Anchor the Post-2015 Development Agenda in human rights
  2. Make poverty eradication the objective over economic growth and prosperity
  3. Explicitly name and include the human right to water and sanitation in priority themes
  4. Safeguard essential public services from public private partnerships (PPPs)
  5. Ensure effective participation of affected communities and civil society

 Access the full response here.


UN Secretary General Emphasizes Human Right to Water at “Water for Life” Event

June 16, 2015

“Water is life. Water is health. Water is dignity. Water is a human right.” United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon highlighted the importance of the human right to water and sanitation at the opening ceremony of the High- Level International Conference on the Implementation of International Decade for Action “Water for Life” in Tajikistan on June 10.

The Secretary General’s remarks underscore the crucial nature of the human right to water and sanitation, not just for the “Water for Life” decade, but for international development more broadly, and the Post- 2015 Development Agenda in particular.

See the MWG Press Release


MWG Hosts Post-2015 Side Event on Corporate Accountability

May 26, 2015

On Thursday, May 21, the NGO Mining Working Group, in coalition with Franciscans International, the Blue Planet Project of the Council of Canadians, Public Services International (PSI), and the Permanent Mission of Palau to the United Nations, hosted a side event at the United Nations open to Member States and civil society engaged in the Post-2015 process.

The title of the event was “Addressing Corporate Accountability and Unregulated Private Sector Participation in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Implications for Follow-up and Review.”

See the webcast of the event here.

Read the Blue Planet’s post on the event here.

A Mining Working Group press release is forthcoming.


GLOBAL WATER JUSTICE MOVEMENT CALLS FOR THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION TO BE NAMED IN THE POST-2015 DECLARATION

May 7, 2015

Civil society organizations from around the world are making an urgent call for the human right to water and sanitation (HRTWS) to be explicitly named in the Declaration of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Today, over 600 organizations collectively representing billions of people globally issued a joint letter to United Nations (UN) Member States urging them to include this critical right in the Declaration. This letter builds on the consistent and urgent advocacy done by civil society throughout the Post-2015 process regarding the importance of the inclusion of the HRTWS.

See the MWG Press Release


MAJOR GROUPS, CSOs REPEAT CALL FOR HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION TO BE NAMED AND UPHELD IN POST-2015 AGENDA

April 7, 2015

During last month’s intergovernmental negotiation session on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, several Major Groups, the NGO Mining Working Group (MWG), the Blue Planet Project of the Council of Canadians, and other civil society organizations (CSOs) reiterated their unwavering calls to enshrine the human right to water and sanitation in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS).

Three consistent themes emerged: that the human right to water and sanitation be explicitly named in the Declaration; that indicators on SDG 6 measure the realization of this human right, and that the means of implementation prioritize cooperation and capacity building within the public sector including measures to ensure strong public financing. See the MWG Press Release


Essential Human Rights Mentioned, but Not Elaborated, in United Nations’ Proposed Sustainable Development Goals

Civil society welcomes human rights language in OWG outcome, while continuing to call for a rights-based approach towards development justice.

The Mining Working Group at the UN congratulates the members and co-chairs of the Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the completion of their work and their adoption by consensus of an outcome that includes seventeen proposed goals and an introductory chapeau. In particular, we celebrate the mention of the human right to water in paragraph 7 of the chapeau, as an essential entry point for further work on ensuring a rights-based approach to development. With the Blue Planet Project and more than 300 civil society partners, we advocated long and hard for those two small words – “and water” – to be added to the text, and we applaud this achievement on the part of the governments that championed this language: Palau, Nauru, Papua New Guinea; Italy and Spain; Bolivia, Argentina, and Ecuador; and Uruguay.  OWG Press Release MWG

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