In the growing global discussion about water problems in the 21st century, the failure to meet basic human needs for safe water and sanitation has emerged high on the agenda of nations, international organizations, and local communities. Many tools, technologies, policies, and strategies have been brought to bear to address this failure, but none have been fully successful. After decades of debate, a new factor has emerged: in 2010 the United Nations formally acknowledged the human right to water and sanitation in both a General Assembly resolution and a subsequent resolution of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. While the broad legal question of whether a human right to water exists has arguably been resolved, many additional questions remain about implementation and status of this right. Dr. Peter Gleick will address the background to these questions and discuss the issues at the heart of the problem, including the history of the legal human right to water and sanitation, whether formal recognition of such a right will help meet basic human needs or help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and given such a right, how to move forward to progressively achieve the full realization of human rights obligations and responsibilities related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation.  Gleick will argue that we can integrate the apparently conflicting ideologies of water as a human right and an economic good, as we try move toward a sustainable water future.

Oxford Amnesty Lectures is one of the world's leading lecture series. It is an independent registered charity created to sustain debate about human rights in the academic and wider community. Each year speakers of international reputation are invited to lecture in Oxford on a theme related to human rights. To date OAL has raised over £100,000 for Amnesty International UK Charitable Trust.

The 2012 series, like those before it, reflects Oxford Amnesty Lectures' commitment to supporting freedom of expression and fostering robust debate about human rights.

Please note, the lectures are not part of Amnesty International and they are not University events.