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UN: Access to drinking water is a human right

July 30, 2010

By a 121-0 vote, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution stating that access to drinking water and sanitation is a human right. The United States and 40 other nations abstained.

With increasing frequency in recent years, the Holy See has supported efforts to declare access to drinking water a human right. “The right to food, like the right to water, has an important place within the pursuit of other rights, beginning with the fundamental right to life,” Pope Benedict wrote in his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate. “It is therefore necessary to cultivate a public conscience that considers food and access to water as universal rights of all human beings, without distinction or discrimination.” In 2008, the Pontiff described access to water as “a universal and inalienable right.”


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  • Posted by: voxfem - Jul. 31, 2010 12:13 AM ET USA

    "British delegate Nicola Freedman said London 'does not believe that there exists at present sufficient legal basis under international law to either declare or recognize water or sanitation as free-standing human rights.'" Does it matter if a legal right exists if there is a natural right? Another case of government saying it has more authority than natural law. We really do need to work on getting natural law recognized.

  • Posted by: lauriem5377 - Jul. 30, 2010 8:28 PM ET USA

    Why would our country abstain from a resolution declaring access to drinking water is a basic human right........I think we should write our elected officials and the White House about seems far better than many of the things we support.....

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 30, 2010 6:39 PM ET USA

    But I suspect our rep would vote AYE if there were a resolution claiming that abortion is a right. . .