Managing Water as a Human Right: Challenges and Opportunities |

Managing Water as a Human Right: Challenges and Opportunities

IWP Research Seminar


In 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) declared that water is a basic human right. 122 countries voted in favour of the resolution: none against but 41 countries abstained (including Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, and the USA). Also, unlike other issues which are now considered to be basic human rights because of very specific international treaties, UNGA resolutions are non-binding.

The lecture will focus on the following issues. To what extent the UNGA resolution has accelerated clean water provisioning when at least 3.5 billion people lack access to it? How may this resolution advance water management practices and processes and help handle some of the major challenges the world is facing at present to implement the concept that water is a human right?

The lecture will also discuss the efforts of Pope Francis to further the implementation of this notion through an interfaith dialogue in the Vatican, 23-24 February 2017, which the author helped to organise, including the potential impacts of the latest Vatican declaration.

Prof Asit K. Biswas

Prof Asit K. Biswas, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore 

Prof Asit K Biswas is one of the world’s leading authorities on water and environment. Co-founder of the Third World Centre for Water Management, Mexico, and currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore. He was formerly a Professor in UK, Canada and Sweden. He was member of the World Commission on Water and a founder of the International Water Resources Association and World Water Council. He has been senior advisor to 20 governments and six Heads of United Nations Agencies and Past President of the International Water Resources Association. He advises Chairman of the Board or CEOs of four multinational companies on corporate strategies, technological issues and social responsibilities. Among his numerous prizes are Crystal Drop and Millennium Awards of International Water Resources Association; Walter Huber Prize of American Society of Civil Engineering; Honorary Degree of Doctor of Technology from University of Lund, Sweden; and Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Science from University of Strathclyde, Glasgow; Helsinki University of Technology; Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; and Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar. He received the Stockholm Water Prize, for ‘outstanding and multi-faceted contributions to global water resource issues. Reuters named him one of the top 10 water trailblazers of the world. In 2015 and 2016 he was named one of the world’s second most influential water industry leaders. He is the author of 83 books and over 650 scientific and technical papers. His work has been translated into 37 languages.

Chair Person:

Dr Olivia Jensen, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Water Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, Singapore.  

Monday, 06 March 2017



Seminar Room 3-5
Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

Seats are limited and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Kindly register your interest in attending. Light lunch will be provided for those who RSVP by 2 March 2017 Register now

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