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SACOSAN 2008: a new step forward for the human right to water

The Third South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) recognised access to sanitation and drinking water as a basic right in its final declaration, after a campaign to support the human right to water carried out by COHRE, FANSA and Wateraid. This new milestone for this right was welcomed by the Independent Expert Catharina de Albuquerque.

The 3rd South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) held in New Delhi, India, between 16th and 21st November of this year, has become a new and important milestone in relation to the human right to water, given that in its final declaration India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the Member States of SACOSAN, recognised the access to sanitation and drinking water as a basic right". This recognition constitutes the first of the four main points of said declaration, and was one of the central recommendations made by the NGO and social movements at the meeting held before this conference.

This has led to a declaration by the recently appoint Independent Expert for the Right to Water, Catharina de Albuquerque, who stated her desire that this message be used to reaffirm the Beppu Message during the 1st Pacific Asia Water Summit held in Japan, 2007, where the 37 States present recognised peoples right to drinking water and basic sanitation as a fundamental human right and a fundamental aspect of human security.

a small step for Asia, a large step for the human right to water

The Delhi Declaration will serve to strengthen the commitment of these South Asian governments with more specific actions on the human right to water and sanitation within the Asian continent, thereby boosting compliance with the Millennium Development Goal relating to water and sanitation, and providing a possible source of good practices which enrich the content of the human right to water. For this reason, at UNESCO Etxea we hope that this declaration will be the first step for many specific actions to favour peoples access to this vital liquid, and the formal commitment by the States to the human right to water.

MORE INFORMATION:

Third South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN)

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With the support of
Bizkaiko Foru Aldundia / Diputación Foral de Bizkaia

Eusko Jaurlaritza / Gobierno Vasco