Carlo Hamalainen


Access to water is a human right?

2013-09-05

Here's an interesting video by the Nestle CEO, talking about access to water:

In case the Youtube video doesn't work, here's a local mirror:

Transcript of the subtitles from 2:01 to 3:34 (thanks to AP):

There's that lovely old Austrian folk song
"The dear cattle need water, hollera, holleri!"
if you remember.
Water is of course ...
the most important raw material ...
we have today in the world.
It's a question of whether we should privatise ...
the normal water supply of the population.
And there are two different opinions on the matter.
The one opinion, which I think is extreme,
is represented by the NGOs,
who bang on about ...
declaring water ...
a public right.
That means that as a human being you should have a right ...
to water.
That's an extreme solution.
And the other view says ...
that water is a foodstuff like any other,
and like any other foodstuff it should have a market value.
Personally I believe it's better ...
to give a foodstuff a value ...
so that we're all aware that it has its price,
and then that one should take specific measures ...
for the part of the population that has no access to this water,
and there are many different possibilities there.
[3:34]

So he says that the NGOs push an "extreme" opinion that water is a public right.

Really? This sounds like the robber-baron business model: if you can't afford it, too bad.

Here's a quote from Australia's Statement to the General Assembly on the human right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation:

We do recognise that access to water and sanitation is fundamental to the realisation of people's human rights, as enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Some time ago: UN General Assembly Adopts Resolution Recognizing Access to Clean Water, Sanitation as Human Right, by Recorded Vote of 122 in Favour, None against, 41 Abstentions.

"The dear cattle need water, hollera, holleri!"