WORLD WATER FORUM 7
will be the first major world event to discuss water in 2015
The WWF7 will be the first major world event to discuss water in 2015, and will be followed by the SDG debates and the COP21. The 7th World Water Forum carries the overall theme, "Water for our future". The Forum will focus on the implementation of the solutions that were provided during the 6th Forum and more. In addition to the regional, political and thematic processes, the new Science and Technology process will focus on how water-related cutting-edge technologies and information can lead to better management practices. Its thematic process, which provides the overarching themes of the Forum, is built according to 4 goals and tools: 1. Water Security for All; 2. Water for Development and Prosperity; 3. Water for Sustainability: Harmonizing Humans and Nature; 4.Constructing Feasible Implementation Mechanisms.
remarks delivered by Dr Jerome DELLI PRISCOLI
on behalf of the WWC and President Benedito BRAGA
at the opening of the 1st Prep Com of the 7th World Water Forum
17 December 2014 – Paris
H2o – janvier 2015
Chairmen Dr Lee and Dr Szöllösi Nagy, our UNESCO hosts, distinguished guests and colleagues; I am Jerome Delli Priscoli, governor of WWC and special advisor to President Dr Ben Braga. President Braga cannot attend this 1st prep com of the ministerial meetings of the political process for the WWF7. He has just been appointed as secretary of State for Water Resources and Sanitation for the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. President Braga asked me to convey his regrets, to thank you all for coming to this important meeting and to share key messages from the WWC.
The WWF7 in Daegu & Gyeongbuk will be the seventh WWF along an amazing road. It all started with WWF1 in Marakesh in 1997: followed by the Netherlands in 2000; Kyoto, Shiga, Osaka in 2003; Mexico City in 2006; Istanbul, 2009; and Marseilles in 2012. Each forum has been different; each forum has responded to needs of the times; each forum has left its unique imprint on the world and so too will Deagu and Gyeongbuk; especially with the introduction of a new technology commission which is now added to the commissions on political processes; regional processes; and thematic processes.
The WWF7 will focus on the implementation of the solutions that were provided during the 6th WWF. The legacy the 7th World Water Forum will include:
- Moving from Solutions to Implementation;
- Bridging the Platform of Science & Technology to Water Issues; and
- Ensuring a significant place for water in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Today helping to achieve Global Water Security is at the center of the WWC’s agenda. In September 2012, The World Water Council Pact for Water Security was launched the during the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations during a session on water and food security with Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General, Dr. Khaled bin Mohamed Al-Attiyah, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs of Qatar and José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of FAO.
The goal of Water security is to make populations and human activities less vulnerable to the wide-ranging impacts of global changes across sectors and across continents. It is to help bring security to the world through decreasing fears and anxieties of the impacts of extreme hydrologic events. For example, a key answer to climate vulnerability and variability is through the improvement of water infrastructure and adaptive water management along with new non-structural methods.
Water security occurs when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to water in sufficient quality and quantity to lead an active and healthy life. This definition of water security used by the WWC is based on the three pillars of sustainable development:
- Essential human needs – Water in sufficient quantity and acceptable quality to meet basic human needs;
- Economic security – Water as a motor for continued economic growth and social development for the majority of the world’s population;
- Environmental safeguards – Utilizing water resources in a way that enhances rather than compromises the sustainability of ecological systems and environmental flows.
Indeed, managing our water resources requires making choices among constraints, risks and opportunities shared among goals of human welfare, economic growth and ecological protection. In this perspective, choices and decisions must be agreed upon to serve all competing needs; whatever system we live in and whatever the technical aspects of these trade-offs – such decisions are ultimately also political issues.
The World Water Council was founded in 1996 to raise the awareness of water worldwide; to help bridge the gap between the technical and political so as to improve water governance and water policies, and to; provide a meeting point for all stakeholders – public, private, NGO’s, civil societies and others – to meet and share ideas.
The WWCs and the WWFs goal of closing gaps between the technical and
political are more relevant today then when we started in 1996.
Improving water governance or the complex interactions among dynamic
human, political, economic and natural systems regulations continually
emerges as the key issue in study after study. The WWC is the founder of the World Water Forum, which it co-organizes every 3 years in close collaboration with the authorities of the host country. The World Water Forum has become the world’s largest international event which seeks to advance the cause of water. Serving as a stepping-stone towards global collaboration on water challenges, the World Water Forum is a unique platform where the water community and policy and decision makers from all regions of the world can work together to create joint solutions.
The WWF7 will be the first major world event to discuss water in 2015. It will be followed by the SDG debates and the COP21. The WWC stands ready to help the UN and our French colleagues make their inputs to these important processes.
The WWF political processes have evolved from a focus solely on the diplomatic ministerial meeting and declarations to now include parliamentarian and local and regional authorities’ processes. Local and regional authorities created the Istanbul consensus in the Istanbul WWF of 2009. This initiative of the World Water Council has gathered to date more than 1,100 Mayoral signatories worldwide. By providing support and opportunities to exchange, promote and learn, the Consensus helps and challenges local decision makers to improve their water management strategies and services in the face of global changes. The WWC is currently working with Parliamentarians from around the world to create a "help desk" resources for legislators trying to write water legislation and policies. Never the less, the Ministerial process with its round table discussions and ministerial declaration remains a center piece for political processes of the WWF7.
These political processes are embedded with, Regional, and Thematic as well as the new Science and Technology processes. The Thematic process of the WWF7, which provides the overarching themes of the Forum, is built according to 4 goals and tools:
- Water Security for All;
- Water for Development and Prosperity;
- Water for Sustainability: Harmonizing Humans and Nature;
- Constructing Feasible Implementation Mechanisms.
Since participation and transparency is so central to water governance and such a cornerstone of the WWC mission, the 7th World Water Forum will also include a Citizen’s Forum, cultural events, world water prizes ceremonies, side events, a water exhibition and fair.
So friends and colleague we are part of a historic process; one that is always evolving; always growing, and; always changing to meet the real needs of the times. As more legitimate pieces have been added, the WWFs have become more complex. Today our challenge is to find new and better ways to tie these processes together and also to better tie the various processes within the political processes together in the WWFs. We need to find more and better ways to help more people participate or observe some of these events.
Using the basic themes of the WWF7 to drive each of the processes and the ministerial declaration is one way to achieve this. However more is needed. Perhaps with WWF7s focus on technology, the legendary IT technology of our Korean colleagues could be used in innovative ways to engage more actors within these different processes into more “real time” participation together.
The 7th World Water Forum carries the overall theme, "Water for our future". The Forum will focus on the implementation of the solutions that were provided during the 6th Forum and more. In addition to the regional, political and thematic processes, the new Science and Technology process will focus on how water-related cutting-edge technologies and information can lead to better management practices.
Distinguished delegates, colleagues, friends and guests; President Braga and the WWC wishes to leave us with 7 primary messages.
- Water security is our motto;
- Infrastructure, especially to help humanity adapt to more uncertain climate variablity, and governance, are necessary to achieve it;
- Governments are fundamental to implement it;
- Let us remember that the WWF7 is the first major event to discuss water in 2015: it will be followed by the SDG discussions and the COP21;
- WWC is eager to help the UN and French Government with inputs to these events;
- This preparatory process should rely on the common organizing themes of the thematic, regional and science commissions;
- Let us remember that participation and transparency should be the hallmarks of our work.
Colleagues, distinguished participants and friends: Let us continue to do our work of helping humanity achieve better water resources management together. On behalf of President Braga and the WWC: thank you to ministers and others here for participating in this important prep com, for helping to mobilize support for the cause of water with all of us engaged in the WWF7 processes. .