Water Scarcity: Speech of Amnesty International at UNEP

Honorable dais, distinguished delegates, honorable delegate of the United States of America,

As Amnesty International we would like to put emphasis on the importance of clean and accessible water as a necessary basis to human life. As stated in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights – which by the way is not even ratified by the United Stated of America – “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family”. Besides food, clothing and housing this also includes water, one of the most basic needs of human life. Already Ban Ki-Moon said that water is a human right. Water provides the medium to make your blood and your metabolism work and removes waste from every cell in your body. The importance of water to human life is undeniable. I am sure almost all of you agree with the statement that it is of urgent importance to make water accessible for every single person in this world in order to fulfill one of the most basic needs.

This goal, honorable delegate of the United States, cannot be reached by making water a trade subject. As you know, due to the market-price-mechanism, increasing water scarcity will lead to increasing prices for water. This will strike those in desperate need hard. Those affected by water scarcity do not have enough money to buy water – otherwise they would not be affected. Their only possibility to live is to rely on freely accessible water sources. And you, honorable delegate, want to take this only possibility to stay alive from them by making water a subject of trade?! I am sure, if you overthink this line of thought, you will agree with Amnesty International that this idea cannot be the right solution to provide those in need with water and by this to ensure that one of their basic human rights is met.

Thank you for your attention.




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