Site News Water Faucet. CC photo by Flickr user pinksherbet

Published on July 28th, 2010 | by Becky Striepe

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Success! UN Declares Water as a Human Right

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Water Faucet

Hurrah! The UN resolution declaring the human right to water passed today!

According to UN News Centre:

The Assembly resolution received 122 votes in favour and zero votes against, while 41 countries abstained from voting.

The text of the resolution expresses deep concern that an estimated 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water and a total of more than 2.6 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation. Studies also indicate about 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year and 443 million school days are lost because of water- and sanitation-related diseases.

While the declaration passed, the US was one of the 41 who abstained. Curious! UN Dispatch is saying that US isn’t opposed to safe drinking water so much as the way this resolution is going about it. To read the full Explanation of Vote by John F. Sammis, US Minister Counselor to the Economic and Social Council, head on over to UN Dispatch.

So what do you think? Does the US’s abstention make this resolution less of a victory?

Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by pinksherbet



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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • Matthew

    Yes, the resolution "is going about it" in a way that undermines core NAFTA principles and the U.S.'s right to sell water as a commodity to the third world.

  • Frank N.

    There is a fundamental flaw in what liberals/progressives call rights.

    A right is something the government can't take away from you, not what they can give away to you.
    They do not pass out rights to us, depending on what new law they pass.
    And, it is my god-given right to say this, regardless of what they believe.

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