Vatican document says access to water is a human right

Access to potable water is a fundamental human right which should be guaranteed for all, according to a statement by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

The Pontifical Council on the weekend issued its statement in preparation for the World Water Forum, which is being held this week in Mexico City, Catholic World News reports.

The document observes that conflicts over access to water have become an important consideration in international politics, particularly in areas such as the Horn of Africa where water resources are scarce.

Ensuring equitable access to water should help to curb ethnic and national tensions, the Vatican document says. Every human being should be ensured adequate water supplies, just as they should be assured of food and shelter, the Pontifical Council said.

The document accused wealthy countries of wasting water, and said that pattern of use is morally indefensible and ecologically unsustainable.

The Vatican has frequently called attention to the need for more effective access to water, especially for impoverished societies. Each day an estimated 6,000 children die from lack of potable water.

The fourth World Water Forum, to be held in Mexico City 16-22 March, is an initiative of the World Water Council. According to its website, the meeting "seeks to enable multi-stakeholder participation and dialogue to influence water policy-making at a global level."

Access to water is a human right, Vatican document says (Catholic World News 20/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Commission for Justice and Peace

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21 Mar 2006