MEPs letter on the Alternative World Water Forum in Brazilia

As elected representatives of the European people we want to express our solidarity with the Alternative Water Forum that is happening in Brasilia from 17th March until 22nd in a very difficult political context.

The organizers of the Alternative Forum believe that public policies related to water should be democratically discussed involving the populations and mainly the involved communities. We believe that this is correct and we would like support them in their struggle not to sell water assets without a popular mandate.

We support the effort of several International, European and Brazilian organisations in the promotion of the Forum as a continuity of the previous Alternative Water Forums such as the ones organised in Daegu (South Korea) and Marseille (France).

The abovementioned events were opposed to the World Water Forum which is a forum organised by large economic groups defending the privatisation of natural sources of water and public services outside of the frame of the United Nations. In that regard, we believe that the 8th World Water Forum has no purpose or political legitimacy and it should not receive any official backing from elected officials.

It is a business fair aiming to promote the market to transnational companies focusing on the water and sanitation sectors. Is a closed door event that does not allow civil society and independent operators to have their say. Only big corporations have privileged access.

Since 2010 the United Nations resolutions has recognized that water and sewage are fundamental rights in 2012 almost 2 million European citizens signed the ECI right2water. There is no life without water and it is a public welfare that must be shared among all humanity and other living beings. Water is a common good. This lead us to understand that water management needs to consider the interests of local communities, especially those excluded or silenced by the strong voice of the market, through a democratic process of debate and decision on projects that interfere in water and land uses, particularly in cases of water infrastructure projects. At the international arena should be the United Nations and their agencies, like UN-Habitat or programmes like GWOPA that organise these kind of forums.

According to the UN, about 663 million people in the world do not have access to adequate water supplies, 946 million practice outdoor defecation with the social and health implications that this has. In Europe, the European Commission admits that over 20 million people have problems to access to water and sanitation. Gender inequality is also impacted by lack of access to water. Scarcity and poor distribution lead women to travel long and steep distances to get water. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warns that more than 800 children under the age of 5 die every day from diarrhea associated with lack of water and hygiene. This has to stop!

We call to the European Commission to legally enshrine the Human Right to Water in Europe, to fully promote this Human Right globally and to boost a more democratic and sustainable management of our resources.

Signatures of MEPs collected by the European Water Movement

Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL - PT)
Dario Tamburrano (EFDD - IT)
Ernest Urtasun (Greens/EFA - ES)
Sergio Cofferati (S&D - IT)
Lynn Boylan ((GUE/NGL –IE)
Liadh Ní Riada (GUE/NGL –IE)
Matt Carthy MEP (GUE/NGL –IE)
Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL –IE)
Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL –NL)
Curzio Maltese (GUE/NGL –IT)
Marie-Pierre Vieu MEP (GUE-NGL, FR)
Luke Ming Flanagan MEP (GUE/NGL - IE)
Helmut Scholz ((GUE/NGL- DE)
Marina Albiol Guzmán (GUE/NGL- ES)
Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL-PT)
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (GUE/NGL-EL)
Barbara Spinelli (GUE/NGL- IT)
Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL- DE)
KUNEVA Kostadinka (GUE/NGL- EL)
Sabine Lösing MEP (GUE/NGL – DE)
Xabier Benito Ziluaga (GUE/NGL- ES)
Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL- FI)
Nikolaos Chountis (GUE/NGL - EL)
Carlos Zorrinho (S&D - PT)
Julie Ward (S&D - UK)
Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL - IT)
Guillaume Balas (S&D - FR)
Rosa D’Amato (EFDD - IT)
Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD - IT)
Eleonora Evi (EFDD - IT)
Piernicola Pedicini (EFDD, IT)