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May / June 2003

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OPINION - Confusing Cause and Effect


Founder : Len Abrams
Water Policy International

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International Conference on Freshwater

Bonn, 3 - 7 December 2001



Launch of WASH
Some pictures



The Bonn Conference on Freshwater was another conference in a long succession of events related to water which started last year in The Hague with the 2nd World Water Conference and will be followed in 2002 by the Earth Summit in Johannesburg (Rio + 10) and in 2003 by the 3rd World Water Conference in Kyoto. The Bonn conference was billed as Dublin + 10 and was a preparatory conference for the 2002 Earth Summit.

Dublin produced the "Dublin Principles" which have had a marked impact on the water supply sector for the past ten years (see Water for Basic Needs Commissioned by the World Health Organisation as input to 1st World Water Development Report). The question is whether Bonn will have as much impact. In many ways it was not billed to achieve the same sort of result. I am not sure if anything new came out of the conference - perhaps all there is to be said has been said and now more needs to be done. It was an interesting event and, as usual, some of the most important work was no doubt done in the corridors.

Some important issues were :-



The Bonn Ministerial Declaration - pdf file - 63KB
The Bonn Recommendations for Action - pdf file - 84KB
African Ministers' Declaration - Word File - 31KB
Conclusions of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogues - Word File - 25KB
The Bonn Keys

The perspectives of Industry and Business can be seen at the ICC Water site

WSSCC Roundtable Statement - Word File - 98KB

Launch of WASH

Sanitation Moves to the Forefront of the Political Agenda,
Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

Drawn from WSSCC press releases:-

The silent emergency. If 6,000 people were killed every day by faulty medical equipment, or a tainted food product, the civilised world would surely mobilize the resources required to remove people from danger and quickly attack the cause of the problem. And yet the world stands by as 6,000 die every day of preventable diseases whose causes are well known and easily remedied. These killers – waterborne diseases such as diarrhea– constitute a worldwide “silent emergency.”

WASH aims to raise consciousness about sanitation and hygiene, gain the commitment of political, social and opinion leaders around the world, and bring about structural and behavioural changes that will provide a permanent solution to this preventable international crisis.

Here, according to WSSCC, are the initial steps:

Visit the WSSCC web site

Some pictures
(Click the pictures for an enlargement)

Nitin Desai wins our award for the best plenary address.

Delegates at work

Working on the Recommendations - a painful but inevitable plenary process

Sanitation is put on the agenda - the launch of the WASH campaign

Finally -

Some really strange dancing - the constipation step!

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