Technical Preparatory Meeting of the 4th World Water Forum

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Technical Preparatory Meeting of the 4th World Water Forum

Tunis, 29 September 2005 – Africa must make "an effective and outstanding contribution" to the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico City, agreed participants in the Technical Preparatory Meeting of the Forum held in the Tunisian Capital on 28th and 29th September 2005.

Crown Prince Willem-Alexander, Prince of Orange (Netherlands) said during a Press Conference at the end of the second day’s deliberations that he would like to see the Continent "speak with one voice" in Mexico.  He also re-affirmed all his interest in Africa’s water sector.

To that end, "Africa must create a synergy [between] all political players (AMCOW - ‘African Ministers Council on Water’) and technical players who are busy on the ground so as to identify the concrete issues". Besides, it was AMCOW’s technical branch that organised this Preparatory Meeting. Moreover, while underscoring his country’s know-how in the water sector, the Prince of Orange insisted on the urgent need for developed countries to "help Africa find solutions using this expertise".

For his part, Mr. Loic Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, insisted during the deliberations that the water situation "was as preoccupying as ever" and that "development remains a forgotten priority". In that respect, he emphasized that the millennium development goal concerning water is "slow" to attain, adding that progress on the other seven goals was not as fast-paced as expected in September 2000, even though incidentally these goals always involve water.  Therefore he stated, "the role and responsibility of the World Water Council is to have the idea accepted that water and sanitation are the key priorities of the coming decades.  It is time, high time that this priority is no longer a matter of wishes and words but one that takes concrete expression in deeds worldwide".