On 17 October 2018, President Braga chaired a Round-table Meeting of Leaders of Water-related International Organizations in Beijing, China, convened to celebrate the 60th anniversary of WWC member, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR). The discussions, held in the presence of Mr. Xuebin Tian, Vice-Minister of Water Resources of China, centered around the subject of Connectivity for an Innovative Water Future. Topical group discussions were then led by ICID, GWP, and IAH on issues such as research and development, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and international collaboration.
The Round-table event then closed with the signing of the Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development of Water, endorsed by 13 international organizations committing to take action for achieving the collective goals established within Agenda 2030. As President Braga stated in his closing remarks, “International cooperation and exchange plays a pivotal role in achieving the 2030 Agenda. As water is the enabler and the connector of all the SDGs, the responsibility to achieve them relies especially on us, water experts and water-related organizations, and on our ability to collaborate, share knowledge and technology and generate synergies to reinforce joint efforts in shared missions.”
The following day, President Braga met with the Minister of Water Resources of China, Minister E Jingping to discuss continued collaboration between the Government of China and the World Water Council. He also addressed participants in the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium on Efficiency and New Technologies and, finally, presented the Brazilian case of modern water governance during the related seminar.
President Braga Chairs Round-table Meeting of Water Leaders in Beijing
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.