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France committed to making the 2012 event “The Forum of Solutions”
The World Water Council has selected Marseille, France, to host the 2012 World Water Forum. The selection followed a process for evaluating the candidates and a final vote from the Council's Board of Governors. 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.
The French candidacy showcased a will to engage people regionally in the global debate around water, but at the same time made it clear that debate is not enough. Through its candidacy, France committed to making the World Water Forum in 2012, “the Forum of Solutions,” drawing from the many concrete successes that France has had in the environmental domain.
The Council's decision comes three months after the successful 5th World Water Forum that took place in Istanbul, Turkey, in March. During its meeting in Madrid, the Council's Board of Governors also reviewed the outcomes of this Forum. It commented on the major progress made through the signing of the Istanbul Water Consensus by more than100 cities from around the world. The accord promotes local action to deliver water and sanitation services and manage water resources sustainably. More than 20,000 people from 182 countries participated in the 5th World Water Forum, including 90 ministers, 250 parliamentarians and 300 mayors.
The Council's Board committed to put in place a thorough follow-up to the 5th World Water Forum feeding into the preparations of the World Water Forum 2012. In particular, more emphasis will be put on consultations with stakeholders at the regional level so as to ensure that sound proposals for solutions to the world water crisis are put forward in Marseille in 2012.
The meeting of the World Water Council's Governors comes as we are at a crossroads in how we use and govern the world's limited resources. Increasingly citizens and political leaders recognize that water forms a vital element for vibrant economies and healthy societies, yet water resources continue to dwindle and billions still lack access to proper water supply and sanitation.
Hosted by its Spanish member organizations and the Canal Isabel II Foundation, the Board finally discussed its General Assembly in October 2009 when the full Council will meet to agree upon the strategic directions for the years to come.