CAWater-Info / International organizations / The Asia-Pacific Water Forum

Second meeting of the APWF Governing Council on preparation towards 1st Asia Pacific Water Summit

2-13 July 2007

As is known, the 1st Asia Pacific Water Summit will be held on 3-4 December 2007 in Beppu, Japan. According to the adopted Concept Paper of the Asia Pacific Water Summit, its main objective is to enable politic leaders in the region to better realize the significance of water-related issues in the region to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals and establish a dialogue with all stakeholders on these issues during the Summit in order to formulate this significance as specific actions for each country.

49 target countries and regions have been selected to participate in the 1st Asia Pacific Water Summit: Afghanistan, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cook Islands, Fiji, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kiribati, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Pakistan, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, East Timor, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam.

In the context of preparation to the 1st Asia Pacific Water Summit, 2nd APWF Governing Council Meeting was held under the chairmanship of Prof. Tommy Koh (Foreign Ministry of Singapore) on 12-13 July 2007 in Singapore, in which Regional Coordinator of GWP CACENA Vadim Sokolov took part. The meeting was organized by the Public Consumption Directorate of Singapore, an organization responsible for drinking water supply and sanitation, and the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources of Singapore. The meeting brought together more than 30 participants: members of APWF Governing Council, APWF Secretariat (JWF, GWP representatives of sub-regions), key organizations on themes of the Summit (ADB, UNESCO, UN-Habitat, UN ESCAP, WHO, ICHARM, IUCN, FAO, JBIC, MEWR).

At this meeting, the following issues were considered:

  • Draft format and draft agenda for 1st Asia Pacific Water Summit
  • Making recommendations based on concept notes for priority themes of the Summit
  • Developing specific actions for key result areas of the Summit
  • Further steps for preparation to the Summit

A final decision on proposals of the APWF Governing Council concerning the above-mentioned issues will be made on 6 August by the Steering Committee of the Asia Pacific Water Summit in Tokyo.

It was offered to hold the Summit within two days, on 3 and 4 December. Two alternative formats for the Summit were proposed:

Plan A: many leaders of states or governments will participate in the Summit, and the agenda will consist of two main parts. The first part is a plenary political part, where all leaders of state or government will have an opportunity to make a political statement on priority themes of the Summit. The second one is a parallel part - organizing particular panels for broad discussion of priority themes.

Plan B: only a few leaders of state or government will take part in the Summit, and the majority of delegations will be represented by ministers. In this case, the first political part will be reduced, and the second one organizing particular parallel panels will be extended not only in frames for priority themes, but also by specific actions on key results and issues of climate change, sanitation and other themes (for example, the Aral Sea problem).

To make a final decision on the Summit format, all countries should determine membership of their official delegations, whether it is top, governmental or ministerial level, before 6 August.

In any case, it is recommended to all coordinators of priority themes and key results as well as to coordinators of six sub-regions to submit extended applications for parallel panels to the APWF Secretariat before 27 July. An application from Central Asia and Caucasus is expected to organize a special panel on the Aral Sea.

The Summit Concept sets out three priority themes and key organizations, which should determine a strategy and actions for each theme:

A. Water financing. The objective is to increase target investments in water and sanitation infrastructure and for human resources development. Key organization - ADB

B. Management of water-related natural disasters. The objective is to reduce population vulnerability to water-related natural disasters, and provide population with water after any natural disasters. Key organization - ICHARAM, WHO

C. Water for development and ecosystems. The objective is to improve water productivity through conservation and stabilization of aquatic ecosystems. Key organization - IUCN, FAO, WWF

Each of the above-mentioned priority themes should be considered in linkage to key result areas of the Summit. The Concept sets out four key result areas:

1. Developing knowledge and Lessons.

Main activities:

  • Building a network of knowledge hubs on water
  • Coordinating programs for capacity building
  • Providing consultations on water policy

Key organization: PUB Singapore, UNESCO

2. Increasing local capacity

Main activities:

  • Supporting training for target groups (including municipalities /mayors)
  • Providing great opportunities for civil society, women and youth
  • Promoting (sub)regional cooperation

Key organization: Streams of Knowledge, UN-HABITAT

3. Increasing public outreach

Main activities:

  • Promoting regional water propagation
  • Supporting national programs for water awareness
  • Awarding regional prizes for best skills

Key organization: ADB

4. Monitoring investments and results

Main activities:

  • Monitoring public and private investments
  • Monitoring reforms and trends
  • Monitoring implementation of UN MDGs

Key organization: UNESCAP

Final concept notes on priority themes and key result areas of the Summit will be then generalized as View of Asia to Water Development and placed at for discussion before and during the Summit.

Decisions of the Summits Steering Committee chaired by APWF President Mr. Yoshiro Mori to be adopted on 6 August will be officially distributed for the general public during the World Water Week in Stockholm on 15 August.