On March 21, 1997, the first World Water Forum was created in Marrakech, Morocco to coincide with International Water Day. International events periodically bringing together professionals from various fields or occupations of the water sector have long existed and still continue to do so. The World Water Forum’s specificity is to bring together, every three years during the third week of March, all the public, private, and associative players involved in the management of water resources and its different uses.
The World Water Forums have thus taken place successively in The Hague, Netherlands in March 2000; in Kyoto, Shiga, and Osaka, Japan in March 2003; in Mexico City, Mexico in March 2006; and in Istanbul, Turkey in March 2009. The World Water Council, created in 1995, organizes each event from its headquarters in Marseille. The Council today extends to over 400 organizations from 70 countries.
The World Water Forum has become the largest global gathering in favor of water. It is a meeting place, a point of dialogue, a system of debate and cooperation to advance shared causes.
The 6th World Water Forum will be hosted by France and the City of Marseille in March 2012. Over 30,000 participants are expected. The Forum’s appearance in Marseille, a multicultural metropolis, offers a unique opportunity to advance the effective implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the critical area of water supply and access to sanitation, notably in terms of the disadvantaged.
Water issues in African countries and those around the Mediterranean Basin will assuredly constitute a major portion of the Marseilles 2012 Forum agenda!
As preparation for this next forum are being undertaken, a number of themes must be included in the program:
- the right to water and sanitation,
- water and health
- the cultural dimension of resource management and water uses,
- the joint management of transboundary waters, including shared aquifers
- water and climate change.
Paris will host a two-day work session to discuss the initial guidelines on November 18 and 19.
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