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water and sanitation Charter
We, the undersigned,
RECOGNISING that despite the intensive efforts devoted by several United Nations bodies and multilateral organizations, co-operation agencies and national ministries, sub-national governments, NGO's and public and private actors, 884 million people worldwide still lack access to safe drinking water and 2.61 billion people lack access to basic sanitation.
ACKNOWLEDGING United Nations General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/292 recognising the right to safe and clean drinking water and sanitation as a human right essential for the full enjoyment of life and all human rights.
ACKNOWLEDGING UN Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/15/L.14 recognising the inclusion of the right to water and sanitation into the right to an adequate standard of living, already contained in several international human rights treaties.
RECOGNISING that although the legal responsibility for achieving universal access to safe water and sanitation lies with national governments, the realisation of this challenge cannot be achieved without the full involvement and commitments of sub national authorities.
ACKNOWLEDGING the Millennium Declaration (A/RES/55/L.2) and specifically the Goal 7, target C: "halve the percentage of people who have no access to drinking water or to basic sanitation services" as a minimum objective to be reached by 2015.
ENDORSING the principles of aid effectiveness included in the 2003 Rome Declaration, the 2005 Paris Declaration and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action on Aid Effectiveness.
CONSIDERING that limitations in access to safe water and sanitation services for millions of people do not primarily response, in most cases, to a shortage in physical resources but to a lack of economic resources and institutional capacities.
CONCERNED that exponential increases in the use of water resources addressing the needs of demographic increases as well as for agricultural, industrial and tourism activities together with the effects of climate change are aggravating the water issue in areas already suffering scarcity and/or excess and affect more intensively poorest and most vulnerable population groups.
REFERING to existing or under development Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms (DSM) which permit local authorities and their respective water utilities to spend a share of their water and / or sanitation budget to internationally support projects for universal access to safe water and sanitation.
RECOGNISING the constitution and mandate of the « International Platform for the promotion of Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms » as defined in its founding principles and operational framework.
ENVISIONING an alliance of forces to promote the emergence, through Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms, of complementary financial, technical and institutional resources as well as improved access to existing financing in order to address challenges faced by sub-national institutions to ensure sustainable universal access to water and sanitation services.
AGREEING with the following principles:
Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms lead to increase the availability of additional financial resources, which enables local capacity building and to facilitate adequate technology transfer in support to sub-national institutions' efforts in the establishment of water and sanitation services.
Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms strengthen, on voluntary and non-profit bases, the implementation of partnerships between, in the one hand, sub-national and service delivery institutions from territories where service delivery are already well developed and, in the other hand, sub-national institutions within territories where universal access has not yet been accomplished.
Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms are driven by the principles of universality, subsidiary, leverage and institutional, financial and environmental sustainability.
The partnerships stabilised through Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms are administrated by a benchmarking framework in which the minimum requirements for governance, availability, quality, acceptability, accessibility, affordability, inclusiveness and sustainability of services are ensured.
The partnerships stabilised through Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms are operated in broad and inclusive alliances engaging local governments, water services providers, consumer groups and civil society organisations. This local partnership must foster access to water and sanitation for non served citizens, enable access to information and encourage participation and transparency.
Hereby, we declare our commitment to the establishment, development and scaling up of innovative Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms for universal access to safe water and sanitation, and to this end we commit ourselves:
- to encourage, within our respective institutions, at the national, sub-national and local levels, the necessary pertinent measures, within our competencies, to establish Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms as defined in the present charter.
- to promote the extension, development, replication and scaling up of Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms, as defined in the present charter, at the national, sub-national or local level.
- to spread with transparency the results of the Decentralized Solidarity Mechanisms, and periodically evaluate their impacts.
1 Report Millenium Development Goals 2011