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Click herePress Release from The Second World Water Forum, date : 17-03-2000 - back
The World Water Council announces new initiatives for putting the world water vision into action.

The Hague, The Netherlands

The World Water Council is the leading non-governmental organization established in 1996 as an international water policy think-tank. It has 200 member institutions representing more than 50 countries, scores of international organizations, governmental agencies, the private sector and NGOs.

The World Water Council has adapted its triennial meeting under the name of the "World Water Forum". The First World Water Forum was held in Marrakech, Morocco in March 1997. The Second is being held in The Hague from March 17-22, 2000.

"This is the largest gathering of its type in the world that provides an open venue for all views, ideas and other forms of expression on world water issues", declared Dr. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President of the World Water Council. Approximately 3500 people will participate in the Forum including Heads of States and major international organizations as well as leading scientists and representatives the government and private sectors, the United Nations and non-governmental organizations. "This level of policy dialogue is a clear indication of the increasing awareness and importance of water issues and recognition of the looming world water crisis. The Forum is a unique world instrument that constitutes a critical movement toward cooperation on the vital issues of world water," said Dr. Abu-Zeid.

At the opening of the Second World Water Forum on March 17th, The World Water Council announced its new initiatives. "Building on the successful results of the unprecedented exercise to prepare the Vision for World Water, Life and Environment, the Council is now developing the policies that will put that Vision into action. This will be our roadmap", continued Dr. Abu-Zeid. "We call on and count on the assistance, cooperation and collaboration of all organizations, institutions and ordinary citizens to adopt and put into practice the spirit of the World Water Vision."

The roadmap includes:

(1) Establishing Monitoring Systems for the World Water Vision in Action;

Monitoring will be facilitated by the establishment of a World Water Vision Monitoring Secretariat, with branch offices located in key locations around the world. With the help of the various collaborating organizations, international societies and national members of the World Water Council, these satellite offices will carry on the task of collecting regional information for a clear understanding of their particular water situation. Regional analyses will then be compiled to provide a complete World Water Vision Monitoring Report, to be issued regularly each year. The information of this report will be disseminated through the media and thereby quickly reaching the public. Through effective monitoring at both the world and regional levels, the Council can better evaluate the impact and effectiveness of the World Water Vision, building on its success and minimizing any shortcomings.

The output from here will be useful input to the UN-sponsored World Water Development Report, which is scheduled to be ready in 2002 and unveiled at the Rio+10 meeting of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

(2) Stimulating Policies for the Financing of Water Development and Protection:

Due to the realities of the world today, financing is always a top concern, and no World Water Vision would be complete without intense research into this area. The World Water Council proposes to unleash the power of the private sector, focusing on an "enabling environment", with a regulatory, legal and institutional framework that will promote and protect investments. The Council will take the lead in researching and identifying the appropriate policy framework at global and local levels that will ensure the proper flow of funding and proper provision of water services to all segments of society.

Money is available but to attract investors a predictable, transparent regulatory framework and reasonable returns on investments must be provided. The establishment of a global risk management fund will further help to protect potential investors.

The Council will work to ensure adequate policies are in place to replace fear and suspicion with mutual trust, reliability and equity for all. The poor and disadvantaged should be assured adequate service at affordable costs.

(3) Creation of World Commission on Water, Peace and Security:

Conflict resolution and prevention begins by fostering a better environment of awareness, co-operation and communication. The creation of the World Commission on Water, Peace and Security will provide an opportunity for third party mediation of shared water disputes. The role of the Commission will be to assist nations in current and potential trans-boundary water issues with an independent opinion to help bridge the gap between concerned parties to ensure "win-win" solutions.

The Commission will also work toward global improvement in socio-economics and environmental sustainability. In addition to proactively mediating surface and groundwater conflicts, this Commission will promote management practices that ensure efficiency, equity and sustainability of the world’s water resources. These efforts will benefit all segments of the population and help to conserve the ecosystems upon which they depend.

For further information contact the information booth of the World Water Council in the Netherlands Congress Centre or the fair ground. You can also contact the following offices of the World Water Council:

The Secretariat
World Water Council
Conseil mondial de l’Eau
Les Docks de la joliette
13002 Marseille
Phone: +33 (4) 91 99 41 00
Fax: +33 (4) 91 99 41 01
Website: www.worldwatercouncil.org
E-mail: wwc@worldwatercouncil.org

Western Hemisphere Bureau
World Water Council
Bureau des Ameriques
Conseil mondial de l’Eau
380 St. Antoine Street West, suite 3200
Montreal, Quebec
H2Y 3X7
Phone: +1 (514) 286-1050
Fax: +1 (514) 287-9057
E-mail: wwc-yul@worldwatercouncil.org

Africa and Middle East Bureau
President Office, World Water Council
Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
Corniche El Nil, Imbaba
Giza 12666
Phone: +20 (2) 312 3304
Fax: +20 (2) 312 3257
E-mail: wwc-cai@worldwatercouncil.org

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