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Capacity-Building of Members of Parliament

Following the training workshop organised by WaterLex, WaterAid and the Pan-African Parliament on water and sanitation in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) on 15-16 March 2013 (link), the creation of a Parliamentarian HelpDesk was decided so as to assist and empower Parliamentarians on taking legislative action to contribute to the progressive realisation of the human right to water. WaterLex is currently assisting Members of Parliament at African and international level.

1. At African Level

At the end of the Addis training workshop, WaterLex assisted MPs in drafting a declaration recommending the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation as a political priority for Africa. WaterLex identified in particular the key legal and policy framework relevant to Africa and the key steps to be undertaken at regional level to ensure the human right to water is respected, protected and fulfilled.

This declaration resulted in the adoption by the Pan-African Parliament of a Recommendation (PAP.3/PL/Recom.14(II) and a Resolution (PAP.3/PL/Res.13(II)) on 13 May 2013 recognising that “water and sanitation are a fundamental right, essential to the well-being, health, dignity and development” of the peoples and countries of Africa. The Pan-African Parliament further urged African Union Members States to adopt policies and laws aiming at facilitating access to drinking water and sanitation for all. It also congratulated and encouraged WaterLex for its action and its support to the Pan-African Parliament in the implementation of the Parliament’s programmes on universal access to water and sanitation.

2. At International Level

The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) acknowledged at its 100th Assembly in September 1998 that “freshwater resources are essential to basic human needs, health, food production and the preservation of ecosystems”. In March 2013, the UN Human Rights Council in Resolution 22/15 “encourage[d] the Inter-Parliamentary Union, as the world organization of national parliaments, to strengthen its contribution to the Human Rights Council, particularly as its relates to the universal periodic review”.

WaterLex will engage with the IPU to assist in the follow-up of these documents with a view to promoting a human rights-based approach to water governance.

More information on 2016 IPU work is shared in these articles:

PAP Recommendation PAP.3/PL/Recom.14(II) (2013)
PAP Resolution PAP.3/PL/Res.13(II) (2013)
HRC Resolution 22/15 (2013)

Picture Credit: © Pan-African Parliament 2013