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UNESCO Etxea participates at the meeting in berlin to present the independent expert on the human right to water before the NGOs

Catarina de Albuquerque, recently appointed independent expert for the human right to water and sanitation, presented the priorities of her mandate at a meeting with NGOs organised by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Berlin.

Natalia Uribe, Head of UNESCO Etxeas Human Right to Water Department, was invited to the meeting in Berlin on 13th November, where Catarina de Albuquerque stated her interest in working with the different NGOs and social organisations working on the issue of water, placing special emphasis on the need to coordinate the water and sanitation actions with human rights.

She also set out the priorities of the first year of her mandate: sanitation; progressing towards clarifying the content of the human right to water and sanitation and also collecting good practices from the States in its implementation.

Priorities for her first years work
In relation to sanitation, she indicated that it will be a central theme in this first stage given that the world statistics show that over 2.6 billion people have no access to basic sanitation, which is one of the MDG targets furthest away from being fulfilled. She stated that the imbalance in the attention given to sanitation and the impact which this is having on other human rights, in reducing poverty, health, dignity and development, was one of the reasons for choosing it as a priority, which is why she seeks to make use of the framework offered by the 2008 International Year for Sanitation.

Albuquerque seeks to make two country visits in her first year, and organise a meeting to tackle the legal basis of sanitation and to debate on the content of this right. She also communicated her intention to take part at the meeting relating to the optional protocol of the CESCR envisaged for December, which she will use to form a contact with UN Water and other relevant actors in the area.

Albuquerque reported that she will work closely with the Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR) and with those responsible for other special Human Rights proceedings.

The NGO representatives showed their interest in identifying the good practices and Catarina de Albuquerque indicated that she is working on the criteria for their definition. The Independent Expert will present a preliminary report in March and the substantial report in September.

More information:

Catarina de Albuquerque appointed independent expert for the human right to water and sanitation

Catarina de Albuquerque - OHCHR

UN radio Catarina de Albuquerque

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With the support of
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