I have been in Brussels this week as part of a delegation to voice concerns about the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. More on that soon

Being in Brussels has also allowed the Council of Canadians to work with European allies on an important campaign to secure European support for the right to water. At the end of the month the UN General Assembly will consider a historic resolution to have drinking water and sanitation declared human rights. This has been the result of hard work on the part of a global water justice movement and will be a first step towards achieving water justice for over a billion people without access to clean safe drinking water and over two billion without access to sanitation.

Food and Water Europe, Corporate Europe Observatory and the Council of Canadians delivered a letter on Thursday, July 15 to members of the European Parliament Heide Ruhle, Rosario Crocetta and a representative from MEP Jose Bove’s office, calling on the EU to support the resolution. All three MEPs have been mobilizing MEPs within the EU to sign a declaration endorsing a UN resolution on the rights to water and sanitation.

German Green MEP Heide Ruhle has been particularly instrumental in securing the support of several Green MEPs. The endorsements are pouring in as I write this, but we have confirmation from Michael Cashman, Joe Higgins, Enrique Guerrero Salom, Bart Staes, Jean Lambert, Catherine Greze, Sven Giegold  Raül Romeva i Rueda and Michele Rivasi. Until today, advocates feared that the European Union, would vote as a block and obstruct the measure. While things are constantly changing, it appears that European countries will now vote separately. While stronger measures are needed internationally, this resolution is a necessary first step and the support of European countries will carry significant weight.

The letter calling for EU support was signed by 11.11.11, Belgique,ACME (Association pour un contrat mondial de l’eau), the Blue Planet Project, Corporate Europe Observatory, the Council of Canadians, CEVI Centro di VolontariatoInternazionale,Food and Water Europe,France Libertés and Public Services International.

Meera Karunananthan

Meera Karunananthan

Meera Karunananthan is the national water campaigner at the Council of Canadians.