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(ECO) PARTICIPANTS RELEASE MINISTERIAL STATEMENT AFTER WATER FORUM.

ISTANBUL, Mar 23, 2009 (TUR) -- Participants released a ministerial statement at the end of an international water forum in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Sunday.

Ministers from various countries attended a ministerial conference in Istanbul on the sidelines of the Fifth World Water Forum on Sunday, and signed a ministerial statement.

The forum began on Monday, and ended on Sunday.

In the statement, the ministers once more confirmed their countries' previous commitments in reaching internationally-accepted water and sanitation goals, including those in the Agenda 21 and Johannesburg Plan of Action.

Agenda 21 is a programme run by the United Nations (UN) related to sustainable development. It is a comprehensive blueprint of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the UN, governments, and major groups in every area in which humans impact on the environment.

The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation that was adopted at the conclusion of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in September 2002 provides a framework for action to implement the original United Nation Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) commitments, with special focus on Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture and Biodiversity (WEHAB).

The ministers said that they had accepted many multi-national agreements on water, water use, sanitation and health, and the resolutions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.

In the statement, the ministers underlined vital importance of boosting cooperation and developing adaptation in water management in order to ensure water security.

The ministers said that the world was facing rapid global changes like rise in population, migration, urbanization, climate change, desertification, and environmental degradation; and pledged to increase their endeavors to reach internationally-accepted goals like Millennium Development Goals, implement policies for secure and clean water and sanitation and healthy and clean eco-systems, and rehabilitate conditions.

In the statement, ministers also expressed determination to solve global problems regarding water.

The ministers also said they would work to rehabilitate living standards particularly in rural areas, end poverty and hunger, set up irrigation networks, make use of rain water in agriculture, raise agricultural productivity, and preserve water.

They also pledged to exert more efforts to prevent water pollution, make investments to purify sea water and refine waste water in areas having water shortage.

The minister said they were also determined to develop and implement national, cross-border or regional plans and programs to avoid the negative effects of global changes.

In the statement, the ministers expressed determination to prevent human-oriented disasters like floods and drought, rehabilitate water monitoring systems, and share useful knowledge and information with other countries.

Serving as stepping-stones towards global collaboration on water problems, the World Water Forum is a unique platform where the water community and the policy and decision makers from all regions of the world can link together, debate and attempt to find solutions to achieve water security.

The World Water Council's World Water Forum, organized every three years in close collaboration with the authorities of the hosting country, is the largest international event in the field of water.

The forum was held in Morocco in 1997, the Netherlands in 2000, Japan in 2003 and Mexico in 2006.

(BRC)

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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Mar 23, 2009
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