5th World Water Forum, Istanbul 2009
Bridging Divides for Water

Over 25,000 participants took part in the 5th World Water Forum, from 16 to 22 March 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey, making it the world's biggest water-related event

5th World Water Forum Top 25 Highlights

On the road towards the 5th World Water Forum, the international water community worked together according to a precept of “Bridging Divides for Water.” Those who actively participated in its preparation and in the event, itself, soon realized, however, that there is more that unites us than divides us, above all, our fervor to provide water to those most in need. In Istanbul, we improved our common understanding of many issues by accepting to discuss “other” points of views.

We planned new ways forward to ensure that, together, progress can continue to be made. In some cases, the bridges that were built may still be fragile, in need of reinforcement, but important connections were established. A few major highlights are described in the webpages hereafter, but let’s not overlook the thousands of individual experiences that contributed to the Forum, each of which add a drop to the river.

Political Processes

Ministerial Statement / City Compact Help Authorities to Adapt to Water Challenges / Parliamentarians Launch International Helpdesk / Heads of State Put Water Security at Centre Stage. 

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Ministers Join Forces to Adapting to Climate Change / Water to be Picked up in Financial Crisis / Action Plan to Reduce the Number of Victims of Water-related Disasters / Harmonizing Strategies for Water, Food and Energy / Rising to Diverse Sanitation Challenges.

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Thematic Programme

Climate Change, Disasters and Migration / Advancing Human Development and the MDG’s / Managing and Protecting Water Resources / Governance and Management / Finance / Education, Knowledge and Capacity Development.

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Regional Processes

Focusing on Regional Specificities / Financing is a priority for Africa / Concerted efforts on multiple uses for the Americas / Disasters and food shortages affect Asia-Pacific the most / Europe needs greater cooperation at all levels / Turkey connects to its neighbours on water / Arab/MENA Region seeks to reform current policies and practices / Ministers agree to create a Mediterranean strategy for water.

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And other activities...

Water in the Spotlight / Bridging the Divide between Generations / And lots more...

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Main publications

Water crossroads

Held in Istanbul in 2009 on the 5th World Water Forum: dialogue and debate.

Publisher: World Water Council
Publication Date: August 2009
Pages: 70

Download pdf file

Global Water Framework - Istanbul, 2009

Organized in Istanbul by the outcome of the fifth World Water Forum.

Publisher: World Water Council; 5th World Water Forum Secretariat; Turkish Foreign Ministry
Publication Date: August 2009
Pages: 107

Download the first part. Pdf
Download the second part. Pdf

Istanbul 2009 Facts & Figures

  • 17,408 registered participants
  • over 25,000 participants including the Fair/Expo
  • 182 Countries represented
  • 1,300 political process participants: 156 delegations, 84 ministers and 19 undersecretaries, 148 parliamentarians, 63 mayors
  • 106 sessions prepared by more than 400 organizations
  • 5 High Level Panels
  • 7 regional processes
  • 1,027 accredited journalists