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News First Steps Towards a Ministerial Agenda for Water

The first Preparatory Committee Meeting (PrepCom) for the Ministerial Process was held from September 11th-12th, in Paris, France. Some 130 government representatives, mainly from national ministries, representing 60 nations met with the 5th World Water Forum organizers and their partners, including international organizations, Major Groups representatives and Regional and Thematic coordinators, in the UNESCO Headquarters. The meeting was chaired by one of Turkey’s highest ranking diplomats, Ambassador A. Sumru Noyan, who will continue to guide the process on behalf of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. (Read the interview with Sumru Noyan in This Month's Focus)

prepcomAs the first of four PrepComs, the gathering officially launched the preparation of the Ministerial Agenda, on the overall theme “Water Management Adaptation Strategies for Global Changes, including Climate Change/Variability”. This theme offers the possibility of taking two approaches: How water management has to adapt to changes, but also how water can be used as a tool for this adaptation.

The discussions were steered by a “Ministerial Discussion Paper” synthesising all the proposals and commitments undertaken during water summits around the world over the last four years including, among others, the Asia Pacific Water Summit, the Hashimoto Action Plan, and AfricaSan. This document, organised along the 6 themes and 23 topics of the Forum, presented 4 to 5 recommendations per topic, , which participants reviewed and discussed.

prepcomA second document entitled the “Chairperson’s Paper” will be drafted based on the Ministerial Discussion Paper and will include all remarks made during the first PrepCom, as well as new inputs, ideas and proposals from Topic and Regional Coordinators, international organizations, major groups, and national governments. This opportunity for further additions to the Paper is being given in order to take recent global events into account (e.g. food crisis, financial crisis, etc.), which had not been considered during the previous international water meetings. The Chairperson’s Paper will be discussed at the second PrepCom meeting to be held in Geneva, Switzerland in December of this year.

The meeting was very successful in setting the groundwork for the process and building momentum going into the second PrepCom meeting. Based on the various contributions received, the Chairperson’s paper will become the first draft of the Ministerial Agenda, to be produced by the end of January 2009.

More information on the Ministerial Process is available on the Forum's website and on the Virtual Meeting Space.

Contact information n/a
News type Inbrief
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Source of information The 5th World Water Forum
Geographical coverage France, International
News date 20/10/2008
Working language(s) ENGLISH