• UN report, world leaders, water experts call for immediate action to end water shortage
ISTANBUL, Turkey, Mar. 17, 2009 -- A record-breaking 28,000 attendees, including three princes: Prince Albert II of Monaco, His Imperial Highness Naruhito, The Crown Prince of Japan, and Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange-Nassau; three presidents; five prime ministers; 90 ministers; 63 mayors; delegates from 156 countries and 148 parliamentarians are gathering together this week in Istanbul, Turkey to discuss and develop solutions regarding one thing human beings cannot live without: water.
The 5th World Water Forum, a weeklong summit to push the worldwide water crisis onto the international agenda, is focused on removing international borders and creating a united water community. The host city Istanbul, serves as the ideal location to bring awareness to worldwide water issues. Home to the Bosphorous, a critical and historical waterway that connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean, Istanbul is considered a bridge between the Western and Eastern cultures.
"Given Turkey's strategic location and abundant natural resources, we are extremely proud to be the hosts of the 5th World Water Forum," said Prof. Dr. Oktay Tabasaran, World Water Forum Secretary General. "I have no doubt that our collaborative efforts will result in important milestones that will act as guidelines for all countries regarding water issues."
The Forum's appeal for global action is bolstered with the official launch of the highly-anticipated United Nations World Water Development Report which emphasizes the driving forces affecting the water supply: a global population boom, economic growth and climate change. The report reflects a dismal outlook for the world's water resources and calls for immediate action to implement strategies for increased efficiency in water use consumption as well as investments in renewable energy.
Throughout the next week, the Forum will focus on four distinct objectives: emphasizing water's importance to gain a spot on the political agenda; fostering discussions to solve international water issues; formulating concrete proposals and bringing their importance to the world's attention; and generating political attention.
The week consists of more than 100 sessions with topics established through an open contribution process which garnered over 700 suggestions prior to the Forum.