Government must come clean on water says Labour’s Phelan
"On July 28 last, the general assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution which described access to clean and safe drinking water and sanitation a human right, but incredibly Ireland abstained on the vote,” stated Carlow/Kilkenny Dáil Candidate Councillor Ann Phelan.
The Labour Party Councillor said that water is the giver of life, and without it the human right to life cannot be realised.
"Despite the pressing need to establish a human right to water, when given the choice of supporting or not its establishment the Irish government chose to abstain. They chose neither to support nor oppose, and did not even speak on the resolution to explain their reasoning. Perhaps, like the Netherlands, Ireland abstained because it felt the resolution was not strong enough in making sure governments were held responsible. Or perhaps Irish representatives looked to the United Kingdom for guidance and decided to hide behind its legal reasoning as to why declaring water a human right at a UN general assembly is not possible. We shall never know, as Ireland was silent and the relevant ministers have said precious little since."
"Our government must speak up in the international arena, and make sure that Ireland's voice is heard. Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals will be reviewed this September, and that represents an opportunity for Ireland to make clear its position in favour, the Labour Party believes, of a human right to clean water and sanitation," she said.