Preparatory meeting for Alternative Water Forum in March 2012

I just returned from a weekend at the FAME (Forum Alternatif Mondial de L'eau) preparatory meeting in Brussels. Over 50 activists gathered to share experiences and organize an alternative forum to the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, France in March 2012. This was the fourth planning meeting for FAME with several more leading up to the alternative forum to the 6th World Water Forum.

The World Water Council claims to be a democratic, multistakeholder platform for governments, civil society, academics and industry on global water issues. They organize a World Water Forum every three years with the last one in Instanbul in 2009. However, the World Water Council and their forums are dominated by private companies and other stakeholders that promote Public-Private Partnerships and water privatization policies.

David Boys (PSI), Wenonah Hauter (FWW) and Anil Naidoo (Blue Planet Project) kicked off Saturday morning by giving some background to the global water movement's organizing around past World Water Forums (the Hague, Kyoto, Mexico City and Istanbul).

Organizations from Europe, Latin America and Africa then shared their water struggles in their own countries.

The afternoon session focused on strategies surrounding FAME. Anil gave an overview of the great victory of the UN passing two resolution on the right to water and sanitation last year. He stressed the importance of our roles in giving life to these resolutions and pressing governments to develop national strategies to implement and realize the right to water and sanitation.

Satoko Kishimoto (TNI) and David Boys (PSI) presented on Public-Public Partnerships.

The second day included lively discussions on the role of trade unions, local authorities and European Parliamentarians. Participants continued planning for FAME and closed with the FAME Charter of Principles.