Clean water and sanitation – recently recognised by the United Nations as basic human rights – are critical to good health. They help prevent disease. Yet billions of people have no ready access to safe water. It is an essential service that governments must provide to protect their citizens and serve their common good.
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A letter was sent on 22 April to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon by water justice organizations from around the world expressing deep concerns about a new “high-level” panel convened by the World Bank at the United Nations focusing on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation.
Gwen Moore wrote to president Jim Yong Kim to critique the World Bank Group and its private sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, over its policies and lending practices that favour water privatisation.
During the opening session of the event at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva, on 22 March, David Boys, PSI Deputy General Secretary, underlined that PSI does not support the reliance on public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the water sector.
At the event organised by the CONTAGUAS and the SGBATOS, workers defended the human right to water and emphasised the importance of public services for guaranteeing this right. They launched a manifesto, which was also signed by the PSI.
On 22 March, PSI celebrated World Water Day. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 6 requires that governments ensure universal access to water and sanitation by 2030. However, we are seeing a new push for public-private partnerships (PPPs). We know that PPPs fail to deliver social and environmental targets, and PSI will help affiliates block this approach. We call for a rights-based approach, with public finance and management in the interests of all.
The Superior Court of Catalonia decided to invalidate the corporate manipulations used by Aguas de Barcelona to retain its monopoly concession for managing the water and sanitation services in the Metropolitan area of Barcelona.