On 28 July 2010 the United Nations General Assembly recognized the right to water and sanitation in a resolution.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle welcomed this development as an important political step for ensuring better access to clean drinking water and suitable sanitation for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
“The resolution adopted in New York is a milestone for the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation. Water is a basic need and a fundamental right. The resolution shows how our years of unceasing commitment in such an important question has generated major support across the regions of the world.”
Almost 900 million people have no access to clean drinking water and 2.5 billion people have no toilet. Implementing the right to water and sanitation will make a major contribution to reducing poverty and promoting development. The German Government is therefore actively working to have the human right to clean drinking water and sanitation recognized internationally and, as a second step, to implement this right. In 2006, Germany and Spain launched an initiative on the global recognition of the human right to clean drinking water and sanitation which resulted in the establishing of a mandate in 2008 to clarify the human rights obligations of states in this field.