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Maxwell School to host international conference on water rights

March 16, 2010

Jill Leonhardt
(315) 443-5492

The Maxwell School will host an international conference on “The Right to Water” on March 29-30. Lectures and discussions on local, national and global struggles for the right to water in communities around the world will be delivered by leading figures from the academic, policy and activist communities. Speakers will include experts from Central New York, such as Onondaga Nation Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, as well as internationally renowned experts such as Patrick Bond from South Africa.

According to SU geography professor Farhana Sultana, the conference chair and organizer, speakers will bring significant new insights into how to understand, recognize and apply a human right to water in differing geographical contexts. In recent years, struggles over the right to water have emerged as a focal point for political mobilization in a range of locations around the world.

This conference will look at various strategic possibilities for ensuring equitable access to water worldwide, including: How important is the human right to water and how is it mobilized in different regions? How influential are international discourses on rights in shaping access to water? How do broader international discourses relate to historical struggles for local water rights? Specific lectures by national and international experts will focus on water rights, governance and struggles in a number of countries around the world, as well as on legal and philosophical perspectives on the right to water.

The conference runs Monday, March 29, from 4-7 p.m. in Maxwell Auditorium and Tuesday, March 30, from 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Public Events Room, Room 220 in Eggers Hall. All sessions are free and open to the public, but registration via the conference website or in person at the event is requested. For more information about the conference, speakers and the full conference program, visit  

The conference has been generously supported by several sponsors across Syracuse University.

For details, contact Sultana at (315) 443-5633.

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