A new resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council at its 18th session calls on states to ensure enough financing for sustainable delivery of water and sanitation services. Passed by consensus on 28 September 2011, resolution A/HRC/RES/18/1 has taken last year’s landmark decision  to recognise the right to water and sanitation as legally binding in international law, a step further.
The new resolution is based on ongoing efforts by UN Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque to get states to go beyond Millennium Development Goals and strive for universal service provision.
States should maximise investments so that:
water and sanitation systems are sustainable and that services are affordable for everyone, while ensuring that allocated resources are not limited to infrastructure, but also include resources for regulatory activities, operation and maintenance, the institutional and managerial structure and structural measures, including increasing capacity
The resolution emphasises universal service provision, giving priority to realising a basic level of service for everyone before improving service levels for those already served. It also calls on states to:
- consider wastewater management, including treatment and reuse
- include disaggregated data in monitoring indicators
- ensure that national standards are applied in decentralised services
 Right to water and sanitation: finally declared legally binding in international law, E-Source, 19 Oct 2010
Read the full text of UN Resolution A/HRC/RES/18/1
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- Right to water: Bolivia’s Evo Morales calls for UN declaration against water privatisation, E-Source, 16 Mar 2011
Related web sites:
- OHCHR – Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation
- The Rights to Water and Sanitation
- Water services that last