JPIC Report on World Water Day
The United Nations has designated 22 March as World Water Day to be observed worldwide. On the 2006 World Water Day, the World Water Forum, held in Mexico City, came to an end. The Forum brings together major international financial institutions, a number of multinational corporations and different governments. It receives funding from the Canadian government. Forum sponsors believe that privatizing water systems is still the best solution to the world's water dilemma.
At the same time in Mexico City, the International Forum for the Defence of Water was held. This Forum speaks out against the privatization of water in favour of community control of water services. Members from Development and Peace and KAIROS: Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives (both of these groups are supported by CSJ Toronto) attended the latter forum.
In Toronto, Development and Peace and KAIROS and other groups sponsored Toronto's participation in World Water Day. People gathered to join with people of faith and conviction across Canada and around the world to call for the protection of water as a sacred gift in light of the water crisis facing our world today, and to ensure that all people have access to water.
In Nathan Phillips Square, a Water Ritual was held, impassioned speeches were given on the necessity of protecting water and a proclamation from Mayer David Miller was read. This proclamation affirmed the right of all persons to access clean drinking water and asks that the federal government recognize water as a basic human right; it encourages the role of the public sector in settling water policies and delivering and regulating water services.
Let us continue to support the efforts of Development and Peace, KAIROS, and other organizations in the defense of water for all.
By Jean Leahy CSJ