Triologue of the 5th World Water Forum, Istanbul, 20 March 2009


Istanbul, 20th March 2009

Ms. Chairperson,

Your Excellencies the Ministers,

Distinguished Parliamentarians,

Distinguished mayors and the representatives of the local authorities,

Distinguished guests,

            I am extremely pleased to address such a distinguished audience, composed of ministers, parliamentarians, mayors and the representatives of the local authorities.

            The idea of holding a trialogue is an excellent idea that will allow 3 major parties that are main stakeholders in the water issues.

            I am confident that conclusions of these sessions will help establish better coordination between these 3 major stakeholders and allow interaction among them.


Ms. Chairperson,

Distinguished audience,

            Governments are of course the main actors, because they are the main parties who implement all measures regarding water. The meeting at the ministerial level will start tomorrow.

            Parliamentary dimension is important for 2 reasons:

a)      Parliamentarians are the best vehicles to transmit the awareness to the people of their respective constituencies

b)      Parliamentarians are also the best vehicles to collect the ideas and expectations of the people on water issues and convey I to the executive power.

            However there is no doubt that the most important party in the water issues is the local authorities, because they are the ones who benefit and suffer ultimately from water policies. They are also the closest actors to the consumer.

            They are the ones who can prevent the pollution. They are better positioned to see whether the public funds allocated to water project are spent properly or not.

            The opening session of the ministerial meetings will be held this afternoon and the Ministerial Roundtables will be held tomorrow in the morning and in the afternoon.

            The subjects that will be taken up during the Roundtables include the following:

–         Making water a tool for development in Africa

–         Reducing the impacts of water related disasters

–         Bridging the waterand climate agenda

–         Water for Energy / Energy for water

–         Water for Food and Poverty eradication

–         Freshwater-Coastal waters

–         Financing water infrastructure and services

–         Beyond the International Year on Sanitation Implementing the Right to water and Sanitation.

The parliamentarians discussed yesterday various aspects of the water question. They include:

–         Water resources and infrastructure should not be targeted in times of armed conflicts

–         Promote the idea of the World Water Parliament

–         Invite the developed countries to allocate %1 of their water budget to assist the developing countries in areas connected with water.

–         Promote sustainable water projects

–         Decentralization of the water sector under full public control

–         Cooperation on the subject of the Transboundary water sources

–         Transfer of technology for desalination and re-utilization of the waste water

–         Increase the role of women and civil society in the decision making of water resources

            The mayors and the representatives of the local authorities have met on the 18th and 19th March. They discussed extremely important subjects during these meetings.

            Yesterday, that is to say on the 19th of March, a meeting was held in the morning under the little of “Dialogue between Parliaments and Local Authorities”.

            The majors and Representatives of local authorities adopted yesterday afternoon a very important document called “Istanbul Water Consensus”. This document underlines the fact that the local authorities are the first stakeholders who are affected from the implementation of the water policies.

            50 mayors have already committed themselves to sign this document. That document is open to all local authorities in the world.

            At the end of this session my distinguished colleague Prof. Yusuf Ziya İrbeç will summarize the debate and the conclusion will be incorporated in the work of the Forum.

            Thank you for attention.

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