UN expert on right to safe drinking water and sanitation heads to Kiribati

TARAWA / GENEVA (20 July 2012) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Catarina de Albuquerque continues her country missions in the Pacific and will visit Kiribati from 23 to 26 July 2012 to examine the situation of the human right to water and sanitation. Her mission will be the first ever to Kiribati by an independent expert of the UN Human Rights Council.

“I will focus on a severe water scarcity and a lack of sanitation facilities as well as impacts of climate change on this human right. I will highlight in particular the issue of overcrowding South Tarawa and need of participation in planning and decision-making,” said Ms. de Albuquerque, who visits Kiribati at the invitation of Government.

During her four-day visit, the Special Rapporteur will meet with representatives from the Government, as well as from international organizations, donors and civil society. She will also visit several communities, villages and schools.

The Special Rapporteur will present the preliminary findings of her mission at a press conference on 25 July at 7:00 pm, at the Uniterei Guest House in South Tarawa, Kiribati.

Based on the information obtained during the mission, Ms. de Albuquerque will present a comprehensive report to a forthcoming session of the Human Rights Council, with her final findings and recommendations to the Government and the international community.

Before going to Kiribati, the UN Special Rapporteur undertook a three-day visit to Tuvalu. Check the Tuvalu end-of-mission news release and statement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=12373&LangID=E

Catarina de Albuquerque is the first UN Special Rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation. She was appointed by the Human Rights Council in 2008. Ms. de Albuquerque is a Professor at the Law Faculties of the Universities of Braga and Coimbra and a Senior Legal Adviser at the Office for Documentation and Comparative Law, an independent institution under the Prosecutor General’s Office. Learn more, visit: www.ohchr.org/srwaterandsanitation

UN Human Rights, country page – Kiribati: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/KIIndex.aspx

For more information and press inquiries, please contact:
Madoka Saji (OHCHR Geneva): +41 79 444 4917/ msaji@ohchr.org
Mika Kanervavuori (OHCHR Fiji): +679 908 6625 / mika.kanervavuori@one.un.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

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