Sunday, 14 October 2018, at the Opening Ceremony of the First Water Week in Cairo, Loïc Fauchon, Honorary President of the World Water Council and President of the Société des Eaux de Marseille, spoke in front of some 20 Ministers and more than 40 international delegations, along with His Excellency Mustafa Madbouli, Prime Minister of Egypt, Mr. Mohamed Abdel Aty, Egyptian Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, and the Deputy Secretary General of the UN.
“The Mediterranean is the cradle of our civilization and yet we have left our natural resources unprotected. (...) As I have often said, we have obligations for the future: a common sea to be protected and lands to be watered (...). The protection of the Mediterranean deserves a special status. Fresh water and salt water: it’s the same fight! The Mediterranean deserves a Global Treaty among all riparian States. (...)
Today the world is facing multiple crises. Water, like energy, is at the heart of these crises. (...) I would like to make two proposals to you for progress towards equitable and sustainable development:
- The first proposal concerns the systematic approach of integrated water management. It is a relevant vertical approach, but today it is too narrow and one which isolates and reduces solutions for water to solely hydraulic aspects. During the next years, the vertical approach must be complemented by a horizontal approach, the "Five Fingers Alliance" that brings together water, energy, and food, but also health and education for a human-centered approach.
- The second proposal addresses recognition of water-related tensions and conflicts. In the case of conflicts of use, hydro-diplomacy is the best way to find a way to share water equitably while preserving the peace. Hydro-diplomacy is, and will continue to be, a priority for the World Water Council."
High level meetings with the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister of Egypt, as well as several bilateral meetings were organized during this event.
On Saturday, 13 October 2018, Loïc Fauchon met with Mr. Mohamed Abdel Aty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt, to discuss water issues in the Mediterranean, with a special focus on securing water resources, their availability and their protection.
On Monday, 15 October 2018, Loïc Fauchon met with Mr. Akif Ozkaldi, Vice-Minister in charge of Water of Turkey. This meeting was the occasion to address the main topics of common interest between the World Water Council and Turkey, as well as the need to strengthen water security.
First Cairo Water Week
Following an analytical workshop held with the WWC staff in Marseille and a first note discussed by the Board of Governors during its meeting in Dakar in June, a zero draft of the WWC future triennial strategy was disseminated to members for comments. While the main orientations of the strategy propose to continue to reinforce the work done during the past mandate around water security, financing, cities, climate change, political mobilization, IWRM and the World Water Forums, it also seeks to create linkages between different substantive areas and to international frameworks, such as Agenda 2030.
In addition, some innovations include placing a much greater emphasis on strengthening membership relations. Also, rather than focusing specifically on cities, it is proposed to develop activities around “Resilient Communities and Human Settlements”, to be broader in scope and to link better to the subject of rural development within the 9th World Water Forum priorities. Furthermore, it suggests potential activities focusing on equity and giving a voice to unheard stakeholders.
A consultation with members was organized on 28 August during the World Water Week in Stockholm to discuss the contents of the proposal. For those who could not attend that event, two webinars were organized on 13 September, and written comments were received by the Secretariat until 21 September.
Under the guidance of the WWC Bureau, the draft strategy will be finalized and submitted to members with the other documents for the General Assembly. It will be accompanied by a more detailed workplan that will suggest ways to put the strategy into action over the next three years. Both documents will give rise to discussion and exchange during the WWC General Assembly, in view of its approval.