International Conference on Freshwater
Bonn, Germany; 3 - 7 December, 2001

  Tuesday, 4 December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Wednesday, 5 December HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
Daily Reports: Thursday 6, December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Friday 7, December  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
  Summary  HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF
Daily coverage (pictures and RealAudio): Tuesday, 4 Dec , Wednesday, 5 Dec , Thursday 6 Dec , Friday 7 Dec


Monday, 3 December
The International Conference on Freshwater opened on Monday, 3 December 2001, at the International Congress Centre Bundeshaus in Bonn, Germany. Delegates met in the morning to hear opening and welcome addresses and keynote speeches, which were interspersed with four modern dance pieces. In the afternoon, delegates met for the first multi-stakeholder dialogue on equitable access and sustainable supply of water for the poor

Ice sculpture at the entrance of the of the International Congress Center

In his remarks, Jürgen Trittin, Opening Session Co-Chair and Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Germany, urged delegates to develop recommendations for sustainable use of water resources, sending a clear message to governments to take action. He voiced support for those fearing privatization of water services, but said industry partnership is needed. He noted that consumption patterns in the North affect water use in the South, and that inadequate water quality or quantity creates refugees. He urged, inter alia, implementing the Kyoto Protocol, establishing international liability mechanisms, and forging a global pact for sustainable development

Listen to the RealAudio

Jürgen Trittin


Uschi Eid, session Co-Chair and Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, stated that although access to water is a fundamental human right, about 1.2 billion people lack access to safe water, while 2.5 billion lack decent sanitation, in particular women and children. She noted that recent terrorist attacks demonstrate that living conditions in other countries affect everyone’s security and prosperity, and that peace and sustainability require cooperation and investment in development

Listen to the RealAudio


Klaus Töpfer

In his keynote address, Klaus Töpfer, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director, stated that water and energy issues are interrelated, citing the lack of electricity in Kenya during droughts. Töpfer highlighted the importance of water in all sectors of social and economic development, poverty eradication, and cultural diversity

Listen to the RealAudio

Maria Mutagamba

In her keynote speech, Maria Mutagamba, Minister of State for Water, Uganda, thanked the German Federal Government for making Uganda’s participation possible, mentioning she was chosen to speak on behalf of her country, Africa, and the developing world

Listen to the RealAudio


In her welcoming address, Pia Heckes, Deputy Mayor of the City of Bonn, highlighted the important role of the city as host to several convention secretariats. She also noted the city’s yearlong water campaign and a recently released book on local water issues

Listen to the RealAudio

Cerna & Vanek Dance presented four pieces of Modern Dance


David Hales

Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue
Co-Chair Trittin opened the first Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue (MSD) on equitable access to and sustainable supply of water for the poor, emphasizing the importance of interaction between govern�ments and other stakeholders. Session Facilitator David Hales of Sustainability Science and Technology, followed by stating that the purpose of the MSD is to initiate and enrich the conference output, by raising issues and suggesting directions and actions


On behalf of Business and Industry, Alain Mathys elabo�rated five points on: solving the water problem, creating an enabling environment, removing water barriers, fostering partnerships, and valuing water. Sekou Oumar Tall, representing FARMERS, elabo�rated upon the water challenges and the potential global effects of climate change

Listen to the RealAudio of the Presentations by the Stakeholder groups [here]

Alain Mathys


Violeta Corral, for Trade Unions, said public-private sector partnerships are fundamentally flawed and do not reflect the needs of communities. She suggested that financial resources be invested in public systems and cover the costs of social equity. She called for partnerships with public-owned companies, as public-private part�nerships direct the flow of resources into private hands and do not address the needs of the poor


On the nature and substance of partnerships, some urged equality, which: Local Authorities said demanded capacity building in efficiency and water harvesting of local authorities; South Africa said depend on strong and democratic local government institutions; and Global Water Partnership said necessitated social mobilization for community participation


Cesar Gutierrez, National Peasant's Forum

Sekou Oumar Tall, representing FARMERS, elabo�rated upon the water challenges and the potential global effects of climate change. Underscoring the state as guarantor of water access, he noted reluctance among farmers for water privatization

Karen Morrison, participant in the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue

Karen Morrison

Kjell Larsson, Sweden

Sweden proposed establishing a target percentage of official development assistance (ODA) for water projects and greater coordination between fragmented UN agencies

Nitin Desai delivering his keynote address

Nitin Desai (left)


In a keynote address, Nitin Desai, UN Under-Secretary-General and Secretary-General of the Johannesburg Summit, underscored the importance of water for sustainable development, describing it as a strategic resource, and stressed the significance of the Freshwater Conference in the context of WSSD preparations. Desai urged the Johannesburg Summit to emulate several organizing elements of the Freshwater Conference, such as: presenting scientific and professional inputs; integrating social, economic and environmental dimensions; and focusing on concrete steps to achieve conference goals in an open and transparent process

Listen to the RealAudio

Maria Mutagamba (left) with Pia Heckes
International Conference on Freshwater (Homepage)
Conference Documents
UN CSD Freshwater site
Background and Briefing to the Conference
Background - Past and Future Conferences
NGOs and Freshwater (Homepage)


Sustainable Developments home page ~ Linkages home page

�2001, IISD. All rights reserved.