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Fifth World Water Forum
5th World Water Forum

16-22 March 2009 | Istanbul, Turkey

A welcome poster at the entrance of the 5th World Water Forum.
Daily web coverage
More Photographs - 16 March - 17 March - 18 March - 19 March - 20 March - 21 March - 22 March
Highlights for Monday, 16 March 2009

The 5th World Water Forum opened on Monday, 16 March 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey, and will continue until 22 March. The main international event on freshwater, the World Water Forum seeks to enable multi-stakeholder participation and dialogue to influence water policy-making at a global level, in pursuit of sustainable development.

The Forum’s main theme, “bridging divides for water,” will be addressed through six sub-themes: global change and risk management; advancing human development and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); managing and protecting water resources; governance and management; finance; and education, knowledge and capacity development. Over 100 thematic sessions are scheduled, and more than 28,000 participants are expected to attend.
Opening Ceremony
L-R: Albert II, Prince of Monaco; Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey; and Emomali Rakhmon, President of Tajikistan
L-R: Abbas El Fassi, Prime Minister of Morocco; Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands; Celal Talabani, President of Iraq; Albert II, Prince of Monaco; and Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey
Oktay Tabasaran, Secretary General, 5th World Water Forum, welcomed participants from all “four corners of the world” to the 5th World Water Forum, emphasizing that its main objective is to urgently address the issue of efficient water use.
Participants during the opening ceremony.
Loïc Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, stressed that while ensuring access to water is a “difficult and long road to be traveled,” this challenge must be addressed.
Irfan Aker, World Water Council Board of Governors, on behalf of Turkey’s Prime Minister, presented the Turkish Prime Minister’s Water Prize, which honors media representatives for coverage of national and international water issues.
Delegates applaud recipients of the Turkish Republic Prime Minister’s Prize.
L-R: Irfan Aker, World Water Council Board of Governors; Alison Bartle, Aqua-Media International; and Veysel Eroğlu, Minister for Environment and Forestry, Turkey
L-R: Gurhan Savgi, Zaman Daily Newspaper; and Veysel Eroğlu, Minister for Environment and Forestry, Turkey
L-R: Irfan Aker, World Water Council Board of Governors; Özgür Çoban, Anatolian Agency; and Veysel Eroğlu, Minister for Environment and Forestry, Turkey
L-R: Özgür Yilmaz, Channel 24, and Veysel Eroğlu, Minister for Environment and Forestry, Turkey
The media during the opening ceremony.
Protesters’ banner during the ceremony.
Abdulatif Yousef Al-Hamad, Director General of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, received the third King Hassan II award for cooperation and solidarity in the fields of management and development in water resources.
Naruhito, Crown Prince of Japan, stressed the need for collaboration in resolving pressing water issues and strengthening initiatives for achieving the MDGs.
UN Under-Secretary-General Sha Zukang, on behalf of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, highlighted that the World Water Forum facilitates dialogue between the policy community and civil society.
Abbas El Fassi, Prime Minister of Morocco, noted that the Forum proceeds the 2008 High-Level Conference on World Food Security, precedes the 2009 UN negotiations on a post-2012 climate regime, and is taking place during an international financial crisis.
Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, emphasized that water is not only a technical issue but a matter that requires attention and priority at the highest level.
Participants listening to President Abdullah Gül’s speech..
Children representing 21 countries came on stage to demonstrate cultural cooperation.
The Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra, comprised of musicians from 23 countries in the Caspian and Eastern Mediterranean regions, brought the plenary to a close.
L-R: Oktay Tabasaran, Secretary General, 5th World Water Forum, and Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, at the end of the opening ceremony.
Abdullah Gül, President of Turkey, waves to the media.
Session on Health, Dignity and Economic Progress
Participants during the event.
L-R: Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson, UN-DESA; Uschi Eid, UNSGAB; Bertrand Charrier, Chirac Foundation; and Elmira Joldosheva, Central Asian Alliance for Water
Kenza Kaouakib-Robinson, UN-DESA
Uschi Eid, UNSGAB
Jon Lane, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
Participants during the event.
Running Dry!
L-R: Milagros Couchoud, Mediterranean Water Institute; Marta Moren, General Director of Water, Spain; and Hachmi Kennon, World Water Council
Participants during the event.
The dais during the panel discussion.
Thematic Openings
L-R: Henk van Schaik, Co-operative Programme on Water and Climate; Pasquale Steduto, FAO; Karin Krchnak, The Nature Conservancy; Piers Cross, Water Research Commission; Mark Smith, IUCN Water Programme; Letitia Obeng, Global Water Partnership; Bert Diphoom, UN-HABITAT; and Doğan Altinbilek, Programme Committee Member, 5th World Water Forum
Johan Kuylenstierna, FAO
Doğan Altinbilek, Programme Committee Member, 5th World Water Forum
Participatory response to moderator's question.
Mark Smith, IUCN Water Programme
World Water Development Report
The dais during the event.
András Szöllösy-Nagy, UNESCO
L-R: Olcay Ünver, United Nations World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP); and William Cosgrove, Content Coordinator of the third World Water Development Report
Koïchiro Matsuura, Director General, UNESCO
L-R: Kenneth Konga, Minister of Energy and Water Development, Zambia; and Emomali Rakhmon, President of Tajikistan
Youth Forum Opening
Around the Forum
Photographs prior to the start of the 5th World Water Forum
View of the Haliç room, where the opening ceremony will take place on Monday, from 9:30am to 12:00pm.
Entrance to the venue.
Participants registering for the Forum.
Stands at the venue.
Turkish police getting ready for the event.
Daily web coverage
16 March - 17 March - 18 March - 19 March - 20 March - 21 March - 22 March
Related Links
World Water Forum resources
5th World Water Forum home page
Live broadcast from the Forum venue
5th World Water Forum Virtual Meeting Space
5th World Water Forum Registration

World Water Council home page
International Environmental Water Allocations

IISD RS resources
IISD RS coverage of the 4th World Water Forum, 16-22 March 2006, Mexico City, Mexico
IISD RS coverage of the 3rd World Water Forum, 16-23 March 2003, Kyoto, Osaka, and Shiga, Japan

IISD RS coverage of meetings on Water, Oceans, and Wetlands
Water-l - A news and announcement list on water policy issues
Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
MEA Bulletin - Newsletter on key MEAs and their secretariats
African Regional Coverage
CLIMATE-L.ORG - A knowledge management project for international negotiations and related activities on climate change
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