UN rights expert urges Jordan to adopt sustainable strategy to combat water scarcity

[JURIST] At the completion of a five day assessment of Jordan's implementation of water and sanitation access for all, UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque [official profile] released a preliminary report [press release] concluding that Jordan's current access system to water and sewage creates injustices. De Albuquerque did note that in spite of the fact that Jordan is one of the most water-stressed nations in the world, 98 percent of Jordanian households are now connected to the water network and 68 percent are connected to the sewage network. However, she urged [press release] Jordan to adopt a more sustainable stance to ensure the provision of water and sanitation to the wider Jordanian population and to the numerous refugees that have fled to Jordan. De Albuquerque will present a complete report [UN News Centre report] to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) [official website] in September.

In July 2010 the UN General Assembly [official website] adopted [JURIST report] a resolution [materials] declaring that access to clean and sanitized drinking water is a basic human right. The resolution passed by a vote of 122-0. One of the Millennium Development Goals [official website] to reduce social and economic harms by 2015 includes decreasing the number of people who cannot reach or afford safe drinking water and do not have basic sanitation by half. The resolution expressed concern that approximately 884 million people are without access to safe drinking water and more than 2.6 billion people lack access to basic sanitation. In March of that year, Bolivian President Evo Morales [BBC profile] called on the UN [JURIST report] to declare access to safe drinking water a basic human right and introduced the resolution.

 

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