A Right to Water?

In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a resolution regarding "[t]he human right to water and sanitation." The resolution passed "[b]y a vote of 122 in favour to none against, with 41 abstentions." It is illustrative to note which countries voted for such a resolution, and which countries abstained. Only 9 full democracies (including Belgium, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland) voted for the resolution, whereas 16 full democracies (including Australia, Canada, Japan, Sweden, the UK, and the USA) abstained from the vote. A comparison of the voting results based on the democracy index of those for the resolution and in abstention is enlightening: • The average democracy index of those voting for the resolution was 5.04, or equivalent to a hybrid regime between that of an authoritarian state and a flawed democracy. • In contrast, the average democracy index of those abstaining from the vote was 7.24, or equivalent to a flawed democracy, and reasonably close...(Read Full Article)

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