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): Monday, 3 Dec , Tuesday, 4 Dec , Wednesday, 5 Dec , Thursday, 6 Dec

Friday, 7 Decmber
Session Co-Chair, Heidemarie  Wieczorek-Zeul, Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, opened the final Conference session noting five days of intensive work that bore fruitful results from presentations of good practices and an identification of actions.

Hans-Peter Schipulle, Deputy Director General, Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation, presented the Conference documents, noting the contribution of 118 governments, 47 intergovernmental organizations and 73 major groups, which outcomes could be used to inform the international community on how to reach the Millennium Declaration targets, reduce poverty, realize sustainable development, move from strategy to action, and input into the WSSD and its preparatory process. The Bonn Recommendations contains the main conclusions of the Conference deliberations and its side events, but is neither negotiated nor binding and will be presented by Germany to the second session of the WSSD Preparatory Committee in January 2002. The Ministerial Declaration, which was circulated on Tuesday, 4 December following adoption by 26 Ministers in attendance at the Ministerial Session, provided political guidance to the Conference. The Conference Record (not yet available) documents all the proceedings, proposals and initiatives that were presented by the participants but could not be reflected in the recommendations of the Working Group Reports. 

The Working Group Reports, which will be circulated later, contain the presentations to Plenary and were generated from one-and-a-half days of consideration of the Conference’s strategic issues of mobilizing financial resources, capacity development and technology transfer, and governance, integrated management and new Partnerships. The Conference Issue Paper, which was published four months in advance of the Conference, set the stage for the working groups, and concentrates on the important issues of the water crises, and assesses water and sustainable development. Finally, the Thematic Background papers, also circulated before the conference and organized along a thematic structure with sub-themes on a range of subjects, describe the present situation, analyze what can be done and provide success stories and lessons learned

Listen to Hans-Peter Schipulle speech


Margaret Catley-Carlson, Global Water Partnership, highlighted the move in Bonn from a diversity of positions to a consensus on specifics. Her summary of conference conclusions, the ‘Bonn Keys’ (See below), stressed conviction that we can manage water better, and must provide greater access to water and sanitation, and reduce vulnerability to disaster. She highlighted calls for: decentralized management; new partnerships; cooperative arrangements at the water basin level; and stronger governance arrangements. Concluding, she stressed that “we can act, and must.”

Listen to the RealAudio

Noting Bonn’s spirit of respectful dialogue, Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul, in her closing statement, she called water crucial for peace, human rights, and poverty alleviation, and urged donor countries to meet their commitments. She highlighted actions, including: a code of conduct, a multi-stakeholder assessment of private partnerships, an emphasis on gender, and a prominent role in the WSSD

Listen to the RealAudio


Heidemarie  Wieczorek-Zeul

In his closing address, J�rgen Tritten noted consensus that efficient water management is key to fighting poverty, and called for good governance, stakeholder participation, attention to local situations and gender roles, land tenure, and Northern consumption patterns

Listen to the RealAudio

In a recorded presentation, Kader Asmal, South Africa�s Minister for Education, stressed the need for education. Calling for new political commitment, he urged international cooperation, attention to women and to marginalized groups. On increasing water-related investment, he stressed that it depends on values and that we should not wait for crisis. Describing dams as keystones of development and as �white elephants� that displace people, he urged replacing fundamentalism with debate and more-accountable decision-making, stressing that negotiated outcomes can resolve controversies.  Concluding that water is the source of life, he urged action �next Monday morning� to target water and poverty, so that people can see the difference made by Bonn from Johannesburg. Siyabonga!

Listen to the RealAudio


Jennifer Moore

Muktar Shehu Shagari, Minister for Environment, Nigeria, handed over the African declaration to the German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety

Nigeria will host the first conference of the African Ministers for Water in Abuja, Nigeria in March / April 2002

Edward Lowassa


Edward Lowassa, Tanzania�s Minister for Water and Livestock Development, presented the Declaration of African Ministers Responsible for Water Resources at the International Conference on Freshwater, highlighting Africa�s major water concerns, the challenges, required international solidarity and necessary action areas, inter alia, institutionalizing intergovernmental policy dialogue, securing finance, building management capacity, transferring appropriate technology, enhancing governance and strengthening the role of women. Calling for regional and global alliance for water security for all in Africa, he announced the intention to establish an African Ministerial Conference on Water with its inauguration planned for March/April 2002 in Abuja, Nigeria

Listen to the RealAudio

On behalf of the participants, Mike Muller, South Africa, thanked the German Government, and the conference organizers. Through your efforts, he resolved, we will advance towards universal water security

Patrick McCully, International Rivers Network (IRN)

Josefina Maetsu

Sibylle Vermont, Senior Scientific Officer, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape

Fritz Holzwarth

Jon Lane

Johan Kuylenstierna, Senior Environment Consultant, Environment Resources Managment (ERM)

Participants posing for the camera at the end of the Conference



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)


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