News is a transcript of an article based on a Press release from the
World Council of Churches that was published on Wash News
World Council of Churches (WCC) has issued a statement"Statement: God, lead us to abundant life and peace through water justice", Ecumenical Water Network - EWN, World Council of Churches, 2013, http://www.oikoumene.org/en/resources/documents/wcc-programmes/justice-diakonia-and-responsibility-for-creation/climate-change-water/ewn-statement-from-berlin-consultation (2-08-2013).calling on churches, governments and the United Nations to
ensure universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene as part of
the post-2015 development agenda.
Church is seen to have a vital role in advocating for the full
realisation of the human right to water and for water justice,
especially for the poor and other marginalised groups.
church leaders, theologians, academics and activists developed the
statement at a strategic consultation in Berlin, Germany, organised
by the WCC’s Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) from 10-12 June 2013.
statement is strong in moralistic activism, lamenting how “we
humans have treated God’s gift of water irresponsibly” and
condemning practices that “turn water from being a gift of God into
a mere commodity sold to the highest bidder”.
the Church has always supported community water and sanitation
projects, it did not undertake advocacy for water justice until the
of the EWN in 2005.
EWN will host two workshops
at WCC’s upcoming assembly in Busan, Republic of Korea, from
30 October to 8 November 2013: Troubled
Waters: Accompanying Communities in Conflict Situations
(WS238) and Churches
for Water and Human Rights: Challenges and Opportunities
their Berlin consultation, the EWN elected Gaim Kebreab of the
Norwegian Church Aid and Veronica Flachier from the Latin American
Council of Churches as the new co-chairs of the EWN’s international
reference group, while Rev. Dr Bridget Ben-Naimah from the All Africa
Conference of Churches stepped down after her term as interim
by Riccardo Petrella
this statement, the World Council of Churches reinforces its position
in support to the universal access to water and sanitation by
advocating expressly for the human right to water.
in comparison to previous years, the WCC makes steady progress by
clarifying its position concerning the management of water resources
and water services opting in favor of public solutions:
fundamental nature of water as a common good (…) ought to remain in
public ownership and be controlled by our communities, for the
benefit of all within the community, particularly the most
vulnerable. Private ownership or management of water is inappropriate
where our governments lack the capacity or the will to regulate
private actors effectively or to assure that the human right to water
and sanitation is realized”.
nowadays, the problem is no longer so much the recognition
of the human right to water, but rather the justiciability
and the financial, economic and social (participatory)
to make this collective and individual right a reality for all.
network calls for universal access to water and sanitation »,
WASH News International, 29-07-2013,
consultation calls for universal access to water and sanitation »,
Press release, World Council of Churches, 18-07-2013
Water Network - water.oikoumene.org