Human rights: the Netherlands officially recognises the right to water
Updated - Thursday 20 March 2008
In the opening of the 7th Session  of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 3 March 2008, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, announced that the Netherlands is to recognise the right to water as a human right. Verhagen called on the Human Rights Council to make haste in reaching consensus on the right to water. He said that recognising the right to water as a human right would not solve the pressing issue of illness and high mortality rates, but was certain that it would be a powerful incentive to increase access to water for the poor. With the recognition of the right to water as a human right, the Netherlands will be able to point out to the governments of developing countries that they must do everything in their power to fulfill their people’s right to water.
Last year, on World Water Day, 22 March 2007, Minister for Development Cooperation, Bert Koenders, announced that he wanted the Netherlands to play a prominent role in getting the right to water recognised as a human right. Koenders said that this is necessary to make water a political priority and that he wanted Dutch embassies to push for the right to water at country level .
 UN Human Rights Council. 7th Session
 Netherlands: new Minister for Development Cooperation to push for right to water, Source Weekly, 10 Apr 2007
Related web sites:
- COHRE - Centre On Housing Rights and Evictions – Right to Water
- Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) - Human Rights and Access toWater
- The Right to Water
- World Water Council - Right to Water
Source: Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 3 March 2008
Tags: policies & legislation
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