Second World Water Forum Overview

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Background to the Second World Water Forum 

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Following on from the First World Water Forum the Second World Water forum , hosted by the Dutch government from 17th to 22nd March 2000,  a week long forum, world water fair (open to public) and ministerial conference (invitation only). The forum was designed to be "a market place for ideas" with the main objectives:

Representatives from industry, academia, NGO communities, trade unions, local authorities, as well as over 120 ministers  attended. The "World Water Vision" and associated "Framework for Action" documents were presented. Each day was given a different regional theme ending on the World Water Day. There will also be regional, water-use, special subjects and "Major Group" workshops and presentations.

The World Water Council: Vision for the future

The Water Forum followed up the first World Water Forum ( Marrakech, Morocco 1997), sponsored by the World Water Council. The Council aims to increase awareness of the water crisis and develop a widely shared view of how to bring about sustainable use and development of water resources. The World Water Council developed the World Water Vision: Making Water Everybody’s Business" as its main programme, under the auspices of the Word Commission on Water. The key elements of the vision (as per 24 Sept 1999 draft) are:

The Vision is essentially a synthesis of many different sector and regional consultations. 

Global Water Partnership : A framework for action

A parallel organisation, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) has set up a similar management unit, in collaboration with Technical Advisory Committees and the Vision Management Unit to establish a Framework for Action (FFA) that translates many of the vision commitments into action. The core message of the documents is Integrated Water Resource Management, with the broad aims :

The outputs of the FFA documents including policy measures, management instruments, investments priorities and implementation strategies will also be presented to the forum. These documents are "works in progress" and open for public consultation through the Global Water Partnership web site.

High Level Ministerial

The Ministers attending the Ministerial Conference on Water Security agreed to sign the Ministerial Declaration of The Hague on Water Security in the 21st Century (pdf). A final NGO Major Group Statement to Ministerial Conference was signed by 60 organisations and labour groups. Together with other Major Group statements (Gender, Youth, Industry) it forms an attachment to the ministerial declaration.


NGO event at the Forum

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Amongst the myriad of other events at the forum were the NGO "Major Group" workshops, on Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th March. The central aim of the event was to look at how NGO’s and other major stakeholders can move forward from existing problems/needs, to take a more pro-active and collaborative approach on sustainable water use and management. It included thematic workshops where participants were encouraged to examine the principle issues raised by the forum documents (the World Water Vision and Framework for Action). The workshops covered the following topics:

Core workshop:

General workshops:

Background papers on each of these topics were produced by the speakers for each of the workshops Click here A major output of the workshops was the NGO statement presented at the ministerial conference. The outcomes of the two NGO sessions have been published as a report "Perspectives on Freshwater: Issues and recommendations of NGOs" (pdf file or to obtain a hard copy from UNED Forum contact: The final NGO statement and workshop background papers was also presented at the eighth UN Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) in April 2000. 

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