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CUPE is one of many groups encouraging South American heads of state to recognize water as a right. The groups sent a joint statement to the 12 leaders, who are meeting in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The meeting will consider Bolivian President Evo Morales’ proposal to recognize water as a right.

Message to the Second Summit of Heads of State of the Community of South American Nations:

We, the undersigned organizations, endorse the efforts to establish water as a human right, outlined in the proposal from President Evo Morales to the head of states and people of South America, dated October 2, 2006.

This proposal calls for a South American convention for human rights and access for all living beings to water. As a region privileged with 27 per cent of fresh water supplies in the world, we need to discuss and approve a South American Convention on Water that guarantees access to this vital resource to all living beings. We need to preserve water, in its different uses, from processes of privatizations and the market logic that are imposed in trade agreements. I am convinced that this South American treaty on Water would be a decisive step towards a Global Convention on Water.

Our organizations endorse this position and insist governments work with social movements to ensure democratic participation in reaching these ends. We renew our call for an international water convention which guarantees people’s right to water, protects our environment, prevents interference and abuses by corporations, trade agreements and international financial institutions, and supports governments to meet this responsibility.

We affirm that water belongs to the earth and all species for all time, It is an inalienable human right and a public trust to be protected and nurtured by all peoples, communities and nations.

Finally, we proclaim that the management and protection of the world’s water resources must absolutely be based on the principles of justice, solidarity, reciprocity, equity, diversity, and sustainability, because water is a fundamental right for humans and all living things.