United Nations: General Assembly resolution on human rights to water and sanitation makes important advances but raises concerns about full commitment to human rights treaty obligations

The UN General Assembly on 18 December 2019 adopted a resolution on the “human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation”. We welcome the resolution’s recognition that the 2030 Agenda marks a paradigm shift in which plans for achieving sustainable development should reflect the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of all human rights. However, we are concerned that the resolution’s text does not adequately reflect the strength and extent of States’ legally binding obligations to realise the human rights to water and sanitation, on the basis of their existing commitments under human rights treaties.

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