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22 March 2011: World Water Day

International Conference “ The implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Moldova with a focus on the Protocol on Water and Health”

25.03.2011 |Natalia Dejean




On March 22 2011 for World Water Day, Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) in partnership with the National Center of Public Health (CNDP) and Wisdom organized the conference on "The implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Moldova with focus on the Protocol on Water and Health".

DOWNLOAD A FINAL REPORT OF THE CONFERENCE HERE

In July 2010, the United Nations declared access to water and sanitation as a fundamental human right while 884 million people on this planetdo not have access to drinking water, and a third of the world population (2,3 billion people) do not have access to sanitation. In Moldova, 73% of the rural population is beriefed of safe drinking water. Only 53% of the population has access to sanitation, including 81% of urban population and 35% of rural population. Bad quality of the water causes more than 20% of acute diarrheal diseases. Over 60% of school-age children in Moldova are at risk of falling ill due to poor water quality and bad sanitation conditions in schools.
 
The conference "The implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Moldova with focus on the Protocol on Water and Health" gathered over 50 invited representatives of national and international NGOs from health, environment and human rights sectors and decision makers of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry Environment and several Centers of Public Health, journalists and TV reporters. The conference carried out its work in plenary session and workshops and has addressed the right of the Moldavian citizens to water and sanitation as well as effective tools for achieving this right in Moldova.


Deputy Minister of Health Mihai Magdei
The conference was inaugurated by the Deputy Minister of Health Mihai Magdei who stressed the importance of a constructive dialogue for the implementation of the right to water and sanitation in Moldova. First Deputy Director of the National Center of Public Health Ion Șalaru who hosted the conference, presented the right to water and sanitation in law and practice in Moldova. As a national focal point to the Protocol on Water and Health, Ion Șalaru insisted that the Protocol implementation in Moldova is currently the only instrument of implementation of the right to water and sanitation. From the NGOs side, Vladimir Garaba, the Environmental Movement of Moldova, and Ilya Trombiţchi, International Association Eco-Tiras presented NGOs perspective on the issue of the conference.
 
Vitali Vorona, Church World Service
Church World Service organization's representative, Vitali Vorona highlighted the importance of ensuring safe water and sanitation for children and that his organization will support mainly activities in this field in Moldova. Statements from the UN Independent Expert on water and sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque and Mrs Danielle Mitterrand were read at the beginning of the conference and were received with enthusiasm by the participants.

The population's access to water and sanitation was analyzed, including the disadvantaged people, and recommendations to the authorities were made on how to implement the right to water and sanitation in Moldova. Particular emphasis was placed on the UN Protocol on Water and Health, ratified by the Republic of Moldova in 2005. The protocol is the first international agreement with legislative power to protect the health and human welfare through sustainable management of water resources, including ecosystem protection and prevention, control and reducing water conditioned diseases.


 
Ilya Trombiţchi, International Association Eco-Tiras
The conference "The implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Moldova with focus on the Protocol on Water and Health" was initiated under the project "Safe water and sanitation for all in Moldova” financed by the Foundation Danielle Mitterrand. The conference was also supported and carried out by Church World Service organization and and Milieukontakt International. Marking the World Water Day, the conference, engaged a constructive dialogue between different stakeholders and recognized the need to inform civil society and public authorities about the right to water and sanitation. A draft project of recommendations on legal, institutional, financial and social aspects has been developed to achieve effectively the human right to water and sanitation in Moldova.

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