Brussels, 7 May 2019 - In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad coalition is urging European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency. Hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations working on climate, human rights, litigation, mobilization, sports and health call upon leaders to profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C.
Today, we received some unexpected but positive news: the US congress has instructed the US government to oppose the construction of large dams through international financial institution from now on. The Congress also called for justice for the victims of human rights abuses as a result of the projects of these financial institutions. The US will oppose any loan, grant, strategy or policy of such institutions supporting the construction of large hydroelectric dams, as defined by the World Commission on Dams.
On 25 and 26 May 2009 the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a seminar on the interlinkages between human rights and the Millennium Development Goals. For many years, Both ENDS and allied organisations - such as the Freshwater Action Network, the Centrre on Housing Rights and Evictions and Simavi - have been advocating a human rights approach to development. This approach strengthens the rights of civil society in determining how natural resources are managed.
The Dutch MFS-2 WASH coalition on water and sanitation - of which Both ENDS is a member - welcomes the decision taken by the Human Rights Council to interpret the human right to water and sanitation as legally binding under international law.
Early November the UN Development Programme UNDP launched the Human Development Report 2011. On December the 2nd, the Dutch presentation of the report was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Daniëlle Hirsch, director of Both ENDS, attended the presentation as one of the panelists commenting on the content of the report.
Development banks should comply with strict environmental and human rights rules to ensure that their projects benefit and do not harm the poorest groups. Both ENDS monitors the banks to make sure they do.
In preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20, which will take place in June, Both ENDS published a document in February to start the discussion on the progress of events. In this policy note, Both ENDS has made some suggestions to improve "the Future we want" which is the 'zero' draft of the negotiating document, in an effort to maximize the chance of a successful outcome of the conference.
Take yourself on a trip back in time. Go to Mar del Plata, Argentina, in the year 1977. A high profile international conference is taking place under the auspices of the United Nations, full of hope and burdened with lofty aims. In that year, only 20% of the world's rural population in developing countries had access to safe drinking water.
There are still over one billion people who have no access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. The increasing scarcity of water around the world makes the problem all the more urgent. However, the growing international recognition of the right to water and sanitation is the first step in the right direction. This right gives poor and vulnerable groups the ability to stand up to political neglect. It empowers them to approach national and international courts of justice to demand clean drinking water.