Genesis Morocco: UN Declares Access To Clean Water A Fundamental Right

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Thursday, July 29, 2010    <<Home

UN Declares Access To Clean Water A Fundamental Right

(RTTNews) -

The United Nations General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution on Wednesday, declaring access to clean water and proper sanitation as a fundamental human right.

While 122 nations voted in favor of the resolution, none voted against the measure. However, 41 nations abstained from voting, raising concerns that the resolution does not clearly define the scope of this new human right and the obligations it requires.

The nations which abstained from voting on the measure included Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and Botswana. They fear the resolution might undermine the ongoing process in the UN's Human Rights Council in Geneva to build a consensus on water rights.

However, the nations that supported the measure, including China, Russia, Germany, France, Spain and Brazil, feel that the resolution will provide impetus to the ongoing consensus-building process in Geneva.

The resolution declares "the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right that is essential for the full enjoyment of the right to life," and urges the international community to "scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable water and sanitation for all".

UN estimates indicate that nearly 1.5 million children under age 5 die every year from water and sanitation-related diseases, while some 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water and a further 2.6 billion do not have basic sanitation facilities.

by RTT Staff Writer

Personal notes

Drinking water as a fundamental right is a major step in the right direction, but this resolution falls short of an unanimous decision which leaves me puzzled. Is it not because under legal obligation to do so, some countries would find themselves forced to provide drinking water to zones affected by droughts as it would... We can compare that with the notion of 'non assistance a personne en danger' in French law. I believe there is an English equivalent notion, roughly applied to this context, individual nations or ensembles as well as firms, could be tried in court by people and nations who would deem themselves not assisted under the legal provisions conferred by this right.

Who would be in a position to be sued ? Anyone with the means to assist but that would refrain to do so, especially bordering countries, countries whose courts are universally competent or through the permanent Hague Arbitral Tribunal. Such conflicts are best exemplified currently by the Gaza water shortages due to Israeli restrictions. We can only hope that politicians will regard water as what it is, a right that is non negotiable under any conditions, and not a political commodity.

As for the overall situation, there's two way we can look at this, either as yet another expression of the developed nations and third world frictions in the sense that third world countries require more then the developed nations are ready to give, and some like Sudan did not hesitate to highjack the Copenhagen summit thus perpetuating an image of immature people who want others to solve their problems and admit responsibilities for the woes of this world. Well my friend’s theses woes are shared, and developing nations such as Morocco are increasingly bringing investment opportunities and projects to the table rather then problems.

The other way we can look at this is as a tremendous boost in the 'sustainable colonization of planet Earth' as Buckminster Fuller would say. True it is a staggering perspective but also a goal that has to be pursued not only for its humanitarian worth but also now for its legal value. Not to mention the economic benefits from the development of whole communities and ecosystems that become viable again, the sale of effective cost effective portable energy and water captation solutions, tourism, agriculture, etc

That some countries did abstain from voting means we are still in the 'scarcity model', Canada for example, one, if not the fist, exporter of water, would not want to see an amount of its production diverted to drought stricken countries such as Ethiopia and be legally obliged to do so. I find this very regrettable, since drinking water as a right does not mean that water has to be free, and that there is more then one fund and instance in the world that would contribute in offsetting the costs for poor countries.

What must be pursued is how we can sustainably produce drinking water in areas of the world with a poor hydrometry, and that is an area where water desalination and moisture captation technologies are to play a predominant role. This is very much at the core of what Project Genesis Morocco is about, filling the energy and water gap by instituting a virtuous cycle where the main obstacles to sustainable development, water, energy and food scarcity are removed in a comprehensive manner.