The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

URGENT ‘OPEN LETTER’ TO NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY:

Penny Bright
to j.key@ministers.govt.nz,
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25 July 2010

URGENT ‘OPEN LETTER’ TO NZ PRIME MINISTER JOHN KEY:

WHY IS NZ NOT SUPPORTING THE DRAFT UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLUTION: ‘THE HUMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION’?

(To be voted on Wednesday 28 July)

Dear Prime Minister John Key,

As Media Spokesperson for the Water Pressure Group, a ‘judicially recognised Public Watchdog’, on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters, I am very disturbed to be sent the following email dated 24 July 2010, from Maude Barlow, (National Chairperson, Council of Canadians, former senior advisor to the United Nations on water issues).

“Penny I know New Zealand is supporting an “alternative” resolution being cooked up by the US, Canada and the UK to water down the original resolution and put it forward as a “consensus” resolution. that is because what they want to do will gut it so much no one will object! …”

(Maude Barlow has offered to make herself available for media interviews in New Zealand on this matter.)

mbarlow8965@rogers.com

I have tried to find out:

“What is the position of New Zealand on this proposed UN General Assembly resolution “The Human Right to Water and Sanitation”?

Who will be voting on this resolution – representing NZ?

Will the NZ representatives be supporting this draft resolution in its current form?

If not – WHY NOT?”

(On Friday afternoon, when I phoned the Minister of Foreign Affairs Private Secretary, and the Deputy Director of UNHR division, neither of them were even aware of the upcoming UN General Assembly vote on this matter!)

Following is the ‘Draft Resolution on the Human right to Water and Sanitation’:

“DRAFT RESOLUTION

The Human Right to Water and Sanitation

Item 48 of the General Assembly: Integrated and coordinated implementation of and follow-up to the outcomes of the major United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and related fields.

Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Central African Republic, Congo, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Fiji, Georgia, madagascar, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tanzania (United Republic of), Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen.
The General Assembly

PP1 Recalling its resolutions 54/175 of 17 December 1999, The Right to Development, 55/196 of 20 December 2000 proclaiming 2003 as the International Year of Freshwater, 58/217 of 23 December 2003, proclaiming the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life” (2005–2015), 59/228 of 22 December 2004 and 61/192 of 20 December 2006, proclaiming 2008 as the International Year of Sanitation, 64/198 of 21 December 2009 regarding the Midterm comprehensive review of the implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Life,” Agenda 21 of June 1992, the Habitat Agenda of 1996, the Mar del Plata Action Plan of 1977 adopted by the United Nations Water Conference, and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development of June 1992,

PP2 Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War,

PP3 Recalling also all previous resolutions of the Human Rights Council on “human rights and access to safe drinking water and sanitation,” inter alia, resolutions 7/22 of 28 March 2008 and 12/8 of 1 October 2009 related to the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation, General Comment 15 of the CESCR on “The Right to Water,” the “Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the scope and content of the relevant human rights obligations related to equitable access to safe drinking water and sanitation under international human rights instruments,” as well as the “Report of the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation,”

PP4 Deeply concerned that approximately 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and that over 2.6 billion do not have access to basic sanitation, and alarmed that approximately 1.5 million children under 5 years of age die and 443 million school days are lost each year from water and sanitation related diseases,

PP5 Acknowledging the importance of equitable, safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as an integral component of the realization of human rights,

PP6 Reaffirming the responsibility of States for the promotion and protection of all human rights, that are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, and must be treated globally, in a fair and equal manner, on the same footing and with the same emphasis,

PP7 Bearing in mind the commitments made by the international community to achieve fully the Millennium Development Goals, and stressing, in that context, the resolve of Heads of State and Government, as expressed in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people unable to reach or afford safe drinking water, and to halve the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation, as agreed in the Johannesburg Plan of Action,

OP1 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;

OP2 Calls upon states and international organizations to provide financial resources, capacity building and technology transfer, through international assistance and co-operation, in particular to developing countries, in order to scale up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable water and sanitation for all;

OP3 Welcomes the decision by the Human Rights Council to request that the independent expert on the issue of human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation present an annual report to the General Assembly, and invites the independent expert, in consultation with all relevant United Nations agencies, funds, and programs, to include in her report to the General Assembly, at its sixty-sixth session, the principal challenges related to the realization of the human right to water and sanitation and their impact on achieving the Millennium Development Goals.”

________________________________________

Please be reminded of New Zealand’s stated position on ‘Human Rights’, as outlined on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website:

http://www.mfat.govt.nz/Foreign-Relations/1-Global-Issues/index.php
“Human Rights
In selected areas of the multilateral agenda New Zealand plays a part as a good international citizen as an expression of our national values. The promotion and protection of human rights is one such area. ”

_______________________________________________________

Please thus confirm that NZ representatives at the UN General Assembly will be given clear instructions from the New Zealand Government to support, lobby and vote for the above-mentioned ‘Draft Resolution on the Human right to Water and Sanitation’, in its current form.

Yours sincerely,

Penny Bright

Media Spokesperson
Water Pressure Group
Judicially recognised ‘Public Watchdog’ on Metrowater, water and Auckland regional governance matters.
“Anti-corruption campaigner”

Auckland Mayoral candidate

https://waterpressure.wordpress.com

Ph (09) 846 9825
021 211 4 127

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July 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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