International conferences

Below is a list of international conferences that have enhanced the recognition of the rights to water and sanitation:

  • The Kathmandu Declaration, adopted at the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) in 2013, renewed the commitment to the human right to sanitation and to work progressively to achieve an open defecation free and hygienic South Asia, through accessible, affordable, appropriate, acceptable and environmentally safe sanitation and hygiene services that all people can use and maintain with dignity, safety and comfort.
  • The Panama Declaration, adopted at the third Latin American and Caribbean Conference on Sanitation (LatinoSan) in 2013 reiterated their commitment to universalise the human right to water and sanitation services in the region and to prioritise access to basic sanitation services with programmes related to the promotion of hygiene and sanitation education in order to reach total coverage of basic sanitation in the region within the next few years, among other things.
  • The Ministerial Declaration of the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille in March 2012, does not provide for strong language on the rights as it commits to “accelerate the full implementation of the human rights obligations relating to access to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation by all appropriate means as a part of our efforts to overcome the water crisis at all levels”.
  • The Colombo Declaration, adopted at the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) in 2011 among other things committed to work progressively to realise the right to sanitation in programmes and projects and eventually in legislation.
  • The Sharm el-Sheikh Final Document, adopted at the Fifteenth Summit Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries in 2009 stressed the need to assist developing countries in their efforts to provide access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation in accordance with the Millennium Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, and recalled the right to water for all.
  • The Delhi Declaration adopted by the South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) in November 2008, in which they recognised that “access to sanitation and safe drinking water us a basic right, and according national priority to sanitation is imperative”.
  • The Message from Beppu, adopted in December 2007 at the First Asia-Pacific Water Summit held in Beppu, Japan, recognised ‘the people’s right to safe drinking water and basic sanitation as a basic human right and a fundamental aspect of human security’.
  • The Abuja Declaration adopted by the Africa-South America Summit (ASA) in Abuja, Nigeria, on 30 November 2006, which contained the commitment of the participating states to “promote the right of our citizens to have access to clean and safe water and sanitation within our respective jurisdiction”.
  • The Plan of Implementation adopted by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development, Rio + 10, Johannesburg, South Africa, stating that “the provision of clean drinking water and adequate sanitation is necessary to protect human health and the environment”.
  • The Bonn Recommendations for Action adopted during the 2001 International Conference on Fresh Water in Bonn, that called on States to take actions in the field of governance agreed include securing equitable access to water for all people, ensuring that water infrastructure and services deliver to poor people and promoting gender equity.
  • The Marrakesh Declaration adopted by the 1997 First World Water Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco, which recommends “action to recognize the basic human needs to have access to clean water and sanitation, to establish an effective mechanism for management of shared waters, to support and preserve ecosystems, to encourage the efficient use of water, to address gender equity issues in water use and to encourage partnership between the members of Civil Society and Governments”.
  • The Dublin Statement on Water and Sustainable Development adopted during the 1992 International Conference on Water and the Environment in Dublin, which states that “it is vital to recognize […] the basic right of all human beings to have access to clean water and sanitation at an affordable price”.
  • The 1977 United Nations Water Conference in Mar del Plata, Argentina, confirmed that all people have a right to have access to drinking water.