World Water Forum closes with hope and commitment
The 5th World Water Forum came to an end on March 22 at Istanbul. The weeklong summit, aimed at pushing the worldwide water crisis onto the international agenda, closes with a sense of urgency to address and deter the extreme water crisis plaguing the world.
Alarming facts have been presented to the Forum which was attended by three princes, three presidents, five prime ministers, delegates from 155 countries and 263 parliamentarians, all in the presence of a record-breaking 33,000 attendees, including World Water Fair participants, stated in an official statement.
“While we're thrilled with the success of the Forum which provided a platform to address the world's water issues, we cannot waste a second to take action to ensure our planet's survival,” said Prof. Oktay Tabasaran, Secretary General of the Forum.
The final day of the Forum ended with a water declaration announced by 95 ministers and vice-ministers. It recognizes the right to access to improved water and sanitation, initiating an important step towards decreasing worldwide deaths related to water shortages, informed Kara Bourn of Alpaytac Marketing Communications/Public Relations from the venue.
During the course of the week, the scope of the water crisis was presented and confronted. The European Parliament issued a resolution to formally address water and sanitation shortages which cause eight million deaths a year and limit more than one billion people from access to drinking water. Africa faces the biggest challenge by far; while most of the developing world has managed to reduce poverty, Africa has remained virtually unchanged since the 1980s, reported the United Nations.
Forty percent of the population lives below the poverty line of $1 and 70 percent lives below the poverty line of $2, the report states. In an Islamic Ministers Meeting, the Organisation for Informatics Cooperation and Development (OICD) reminded attendees that while over 1.1 billion people had no access to water, 2.6 billion people experienced sanitation problems, and 3,900 babies died daily in Muslim countries because of lack of sufficient water.
Istanbul , the capital city of Turkey and the host city to the Forum, is home to the Bosphorous, a critical waterway that separates two continents, Europe and Asia, and served as an ideal location to bring awareness to worldwide water issues.
Expanding on the current water problem facing the world, the U.N. launched its 3rd United Nations World Water Development Report at the Forum, attributing the crisis affecting the planet's water systems to a global population boom, economic growth and climate change. The report, “Water in a Changing World,” which was coordinated by the World Water Assessment Program (WWAP) and compiled by the 24 United Nations agencies that comprise UN-Water, a group which coordinates coherence among U.N. entities dealing with freshwater and sanitation issues, offered a bleak outlook of the world's fresh water supply.
“An excessive amount of water is wasted unnecessarily because of inefficient processes and lack of education on the issues,” said Prof. Dr. Ahmet Saatci, Vice-Secretary General of the Forum. “When each of us learns to live without wasting a drop, our planet may have a chance at survival.”
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