On World Water Day, 22 March 2011, the global union federation Public Services International calls on national governments to save lives by implementing the new United Nations resolution on the Right to Water and Sanitation without delay.
Member governments of the UN General Assembly voted on 28 July 2010 to support this resolution which declares that access to water and sanitation services is a fundamental human right. Although this resolution has no binding authority, it expresses the global consensus.
It is imperative that governments dedicate the necessary resources to ensure universal access to water and sanitation. Most governments can afford to do this, yet choose not to. This is a political problem, not a market problem.
It is up to workers and trade unions, in alliance with civil society and other progressive forces to impose the necessary political pressure.
We must also organise to put pressure on international institutions, such as the World Bank and the regional development banks, so that they stop using public money to impose privatisation.
Some governments and institutions remain focused on market dynamics and market actors, in the apparent belief that if you make water a commodity, to be bought and sold on the market, this will improve its allocation to the most productive sectors.
This is a view which the unions of PSI categorically reject.
We believe that water and sanitation services are a fundamental responsibility of governments and must not be outsourced for private profit. These are essential Quality Public Services that our families and communities depend on.
Source: Public Services International