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Human Rights Council Calls for Integrating Right to Water in Development Agenda

UN Human Rights28 September 2012: The UN Human Rights Council suspended its 21st session after adopting 33 resolutions, including one on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation (Resolution A/HRC/21/L1).

The resolution recalls the UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution 64/292 on the establishment of the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as an essential human right, as well as the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halve, by 2015, the proportion of people unable to access or afford safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

In the resolution, the Council calls on States to ensure that safe drinking water and sanitation remain affordable. To achieve this objective, States should monitor affordability in order to identify if measures are needed to ensure affordable access for households. States are also called on to prioritize funding for safe drinking water and sanitation, enhance the transparency of sector budgets and funding, support capacity building for relevant government agencies, and consult with communities to find solutions for sustainable access.

The resolution further calls on States, when considering the post-2015 framework, to integrate the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation into the international development agenda.

The resolution also encourages the Special Rapporteur on water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, to consult with stakeholders and provide technical assistance on safe drinking water and sanitation and to continue to submit annual reports to the Council and the UNGA. [OHCHR Press Release] [Resolution A/HRC/21/L1]