Giving the future a chance

October 14, 2013
WATERSHED MOMENT: The BWS provided an opportunity for people around the world to discuss a central issue of our times. Photo: REC archive

The Budapest Water Summit (BWS) was held on October 9-11, 2013 in Budapest, Hungary. The BWS offered an open policy forum for all stakeholders involved in shaping the global post-2015 agenda. At the meeting, participants adopted by consensus the "Budapest Water Summit Statement: A Sustainable World is a Water-Secure World", which includes concrete recommendations to the UN General Assembly for setting the post-2015 development agenda. The document recommends the development of a dedicated and comprehensive Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on water (a 'Water-Secure World') while clearly addressing the many interlinking aspects of other SDGs.

The BWS included plenary sessions and high-level panels. Taking place in parallel were a Science Forum, Civil Society Forum, Youth Forum and Business Leaders Forum, as well as side events and a Water and Sanitation Expo.

The BWS Civil Forum was organised by the REC and co-hosted with the assistance of the following organisations: Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), International Office for Water, Stakeholder Forum, and Global Water Partnership (GWP).

The Civil Forum served as a platform for a valuable debate on each of the five themes of the Draft Budapest Statement, specifically: access to water; sanitation and hygiene (WASH); integrated water resources management (IWRM); good water governance; water in the context of the green economy; and, investment and finance. It brought together representatives of CSOs, as well as representatives of governments, academia and the business sector. Drawing a wide range of participation (from Asia, the Americas, Africa and Europe) the Forum emphasised that water deserves its own, ambitious Sustainable Development Goal.

The discussions that took place during the sessions were summarised during the closing plenary in form of key messages, topic by topic, by REC Executive Director Marta Szigeti Bonifert.