On 19 June in Madrid, the World Water Council selected Marseille in France as the location of the 6th World Water Forum in 2012. The 5th World Water Forum took place earlier this year in Istanbul, Turkey.
The selection followed a rigorous process for evaluating the candidates and a final vote from the Council’s Board of Governors. GCI is represented on the Board of Governors by GCI International Water Programme Director David Alix, who is an Alternate Governor and by Bertrand Charrier, who will conclude his term as governor in October of this year.
The World Water Forum is the world’s largest water gathering that brings together over 20,000 political leaders, NGOs, government officials, water professionals, and scientists every three years. At the Forum in Istanbul in March this year, over 20,000 people from 182 countries participated, including Ministers, 250 Parliamentarians and 300 Mayors.
During its Madrid meeting, the Council’s Board of Governors also reviewed the outcomes of this Forum. It commented on the progress made through the signing of the Istanbul Water Consensus by over 100 cities from around the world. The accord promotes local action to deliver water and sanitation services and manage water resources sustainably.
The Council’s Board also pledged to follow-up on this year’s Forum in order to include feedback in preparations of the 2012 Forum. In particular, more emphasis will be put on consultations with stakeholders at the (sub) regional level so as to ensure that sound proposals for solutions to the world water crisis are put forward in Marseille in 2012.
International Water Programme Director David Alix, Global Green USA Senior Fellow Finn Longiotto, GC Russia Communications Director Alexander Fyodorov, Green Cross Brazil President Celso Claro and GC Switzerland Water and Legacy Unit Manager Stephan Robinson represented GCI at the Forum in Istanbul.
GCI joined forces with the WWF, the Global Nature Fund (GNF), the European Water Partnership, and the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water & Sanitation (UNSGAB) to push for more countries to join the UN Watercourses Convention. Mr. Alix also highlighted the Convention in a speech at an event 20 March titled “Sustainable and Equitable Cooperation: Institutional tools and mechanisms.”
The next meeting of the Council’s Board of Governors is scheduled for October 2009 when the over 200 members of the full Council will meet at the General Assembly to agree upon the strategic directions for the years to come.