Human Right 2 Water: Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2024

On June 12, 2024, Human Right 2 Water held its fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) , gathering members, partners, and stakeholders to review the past year’s accomplishments, discuss the strategy for 2024-2026, and set the stage for future initiatives. The meeting underscored the critical role of water as a fundamental human right and a key factor in global peace and stability amid increasing environmental and geopolitical challenges.

The President of HR2W, Dhesigen Naidoo, opened the AGM by addressing the current global context, highlighting issues such as conflicts, the rise in “multipolarism”, and alarming climate changes. He emphasised the primacy of water as a solution to these global issues and the necessity of a human rights-based approach to water governance.

New Board Members Elected

This AGM we re-elected Board Members Callum Clench (IWRA), Andrés Sanchez, (OAS) Anand Chiplunkar (formerly ADB), Dominique Gatel (Veolia), Mamohloding Tlhagale (WRC), Mercedes Castro, (Agualimpia) and Olcay Ünver (Arizona State University) plus voted for the election of Sylvia Rivera-Valle (CIPEA) and Diana Iskreva (WfWP). Thank you Mariet Verhoef-Cohen, Alexandra Knezovich and Rashid Mbaziira for your work these past two years in the board.

Read more about our board members: here.

Review of Strategy 2024-2026

HR2W’s updated strategy for 2024-2026, developed with input from the Board, was presented. The key focus areas include:

  1. Research: Ongoing legal mapping, constitutional reviews, and the development of new methodologies for issues like menstrual health. The meeting covered updates on country legal mapping and constitutional reviews, countries take a long time to update their Constitutions, which is why our studies reveal that only 27% of countries recognise the human right to water and sanitation (HRWS). HR2W will be working with OHCHR and WHO to see if we can include this as a new GLAAS indicator or target to encourage more activity. Publications and policy papers we have developed in the past year have focused on human rights-based approaches to water governance.
  2. Applications: Implementing human rights indicators in various countries and engaging communities to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6. We have developed human rights indicator and monitoring tools for programs in Kenya, Mexico, and Central America, aimed at encouraging community engagement and monitoring vulnerable communities to improve water and sanitation accessibility for all.

3. Capacity Building: Offering training sessions for National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), parliamentarians, and civil society. This past year we held Masterclasses on Institutional Responsibility, a Citizen Science programme in Nairobi and training/advocacy events with parliamentarians in Georgia, Vietnam and Bali.

4. Awareness: Conducting communication campaigns and participating in global and regional events to raise awareness about the human right to water. All of our programmes and activities are promoted through several platforms to increase awareness on these issues and inform people of our work.

Programme of Action for 2024-2025

HR2W’s programme of action for the next year focuses on advocacy, partnership building, capacity building, and communication activities to increase visibility and impact. The strategy includes continued collaborations with international law firms and the development of new research and publications.

Expert Committee Activities

The Vice Chair of the Expert Committee, Professor Martha Davis, provided an update on the committee’s work, focusing on menstrual health management (MHM) as a critical area of research. The committee is developing methodologies for legal mapping of MHM, which is a fundamental issue of gender inequality. Read more about the work on MHM that we are starting: here.

Member Contributions

Members and partners shared their activities and contributions:

  • Women for Water Partnership highlighted their projects in Kenya and Ukraine and their advocacy at UN meetings.
  • Brazilian Senate for Human Rights and Citizenship discussed legislative reforms and challenges in recognizing the right to water in Brazil.
  • International Consultant from Pakistan emphasized the role of public-private partnerships in achieving SDG 6.
  • Renovarse Argentina presented their sanitation projects for disaster areas and high-density populations.

Closing Remarks

The President concluded the AGM by thanking all participants and recognising retiring Board Members and the Team at HR2W. The meeting reinforced the collective commitment to advancing the human right to water and sanitation globally.

For more details and access to the AGM documents, visit HR2W Governance Documents.