[DEBATE] : CCS seminar on water politics (19/1, 10am): Whither the World Water Forum? Durban?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Sun Jan 18 06:44:35 GMT 2009
(Would any of you comrades like to join us on skype?)
Join us at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society,
Seminar: Whither the World Water Forum? Durban?
Speakers: Dale McKinley, Orlean Naidoo, Dudu Khumalo, Bryan Ashe
Date: Monday, 19 January 2009
Time (NEW!): 10-11:30am
Venue: CCS/SDS seminar room, Memorial Tower Building Room F208
University of KwaZulu-Natal Howard College Campus
The triannual World Water Forum has evoked intense criticism from the
water justice community. In The Hague (2000), Osaka (2003) and Mexico
City (2006), the WWF attracted vibrant protests, including a 10
000-strong march against the Mexico forum site. Even more protests will
be launched by those opposed to water commodification at the Istanbul
WWF in March 2009, with two alternative forums being planned in reaction
to the World Water Council's elite festival. The water justice movements
have demanded that the WWF cease operations in Istanbul (see below). In
the event this demand is not agreed to, the South African government -
in competition with France - is considering inviting the WWF to Durban
in 2012. When global governance confabs arrived in Durban in 2001 (World
Conference Against Racism) and Johannesburg in 2002 (World Summit on
Sustainable Development), the reaction by civil society was impressive:
huge protests, sophisticated critiques and unprecedented unity amongst a
normally fractious left. If the WWF continues, what are the pros and
cons of a WWF in Durban, a site celebrated by the world's water mafia
for successful commodification under the guise of 'public-private
partnerships', pilot 'free basic water' strategies, installation of
'urinary diversion' sanitation (a.k.a. the 'neoliberal loo'), and mass
disconnections, even of schools? "Bring 'em on?" "Shoe 'em away?" An
open debate with varied "insider-outsider" positions is anticipated.
Dale McKinley was born and raised in Zimbabwe, and studied in the United
States where he received his PhD in Politics/African Studies and was a
student activist at the University of North Carolina. He is a co-founder
of the Anti-Privatisation Forum and currently the organisation’s
treasurer, as well as a leader of the Coalition Against Water
Privatisation. He has published two books and scores of book chapters,
journal articles and newspaper articles.
Orlean Naidoo has been a CCS Community Scholar since 2007 and works on
water/sanitation in Chatsworth and various other sites. She has
coauthored articles about the water struggle and is a leading community
activist in Durban.
Dudu Khumalo works as a CCS Community Scholar and in various other water
research consultancies. She has authored water articles for Agenda and
The Mercury, and campaigned on behalf of people displaced by the Inanda Dam.
Bryan Ashe coordinates the SA Water Caucus, and has been involved in
discussions regarding prospects for SA's hosting of the WWF in 2012.
An Open Call to the Global Water Justice Movement to Mobilize Against
the False World Water Forum
Let us join together in Istanbul, Turkey, March 14-22, 2009 to protect
water as a human right, global commons and public good to expose the
illegitimate power of the World Water Council!
Following the successes of past resistance against World Water Forums,
most notably the mass mobilizations and Jornadas en Defensa del Agua in
Mexico City in 2006,
Using the principles in the Mexico Declaration and previous joint
declarations of the water justice movement as the basis for this call to
Respecting the struggles, waged daily by grassroots activists to improve
water conditions for people and nature,
And standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters from Turkey who
are organizing an extensive slate of counter events in Istanbul and
around the country in a strong show of resistance,
We call upon social movements, networks and individual water activists
committed to principles of equity, justice and sustainability, to
mobilize against the upcoming 5th World Water Forum.
This 5th World Water Forum, as with the previous 4 World Water Forums,
is being organized by the World Water Council—a body created and
controlled by the global private water industry and which continues to
promote water privatization, destructive dams, commodification and
commercialization, projects and policies proven to harm people and
communities; local food systems, livelihoods and indigenous resource base.
The time is here to end the reign of these Water Barons and launch a
truly inclusive and accountable forum to deal with the grave situation
facing humanity and the planet.
Together we will work to counter privatization efforts, – including
mining of water for industries or for chemical intensive commercial
agriculture –, and high-risk hydropower around the world and in Turkey
where the government has dangerously proposed the construction of
destructive dams and the privatization of lakes and rivers.
We will continue to support local campaigns and social movements in both
the South and North, working strongly with Red Vida, the Africa Water
Network, the international movement against destructive dams and the
European Public Water Network. We commit to augment condemnation of the
World Water Council with the promotion of viable alternatives such as
Public-Public Partnerships, community-control models based on principles
of rights and responsibilities to the commons and water democracy.
This gathering simultaneously provides opportunities for water justice
activists to learn from and support each other's efforts, as well as to
lobby government representatives who will be in attendance at the
As in Mexico in 2006, Kyoto in 2003 and the Hague in 2000, it is
important to challenge the destructive neo-liberal, pro-privatization
and pro-large dams agenda of the Forum organizers, but even more
important, to launch a process and new Water Forum tied to actual State
obligations, within a United Nations framework and working with local
community-based efforts and actors to achieve water justice.
We call upon governments to join with the governments of Uruguay,
Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba, who in 2006 signed the 4th World Water
Forum Counter Declaration, demanding implementation of a truly open and
transparent multilateral process.
We call upon the United Nations and its member governments to accept
your obligation, as the only legitimate global convener of multilateral
forums, to publicly commit to hosting a Forum on Water, which is linked
to state obligations and is accountable to the global community.
We call upon all organizations and governments who choose to attend the
5th World Water Forum, to commit to making this the last and to join in
the launching of a legitimate Global Forum on Water, emerging from
within the UN processes and supported by States.
We call upon all who share our commitment to mobilize in their own
communities during the World Water Forum, in a show of solidarity with
those struggling for water justice and as a call to the global community
to mobilize on this critical issue.
We finally call upon all committed activists, elected representatives,
government representatives and progressive organizations to join in the
upcoming mobilization standing alongside our allies in Turkey.
Global Week of Actions for Water Justice
March 14-22, 2009
As part of the call to the global water justice movements to mobilize
against the false World Water Forum, we commit to mobilize for the
Global Week of Actions for Water Justice. The global week of action
serves as a common platform for movements, peoples' organizations,
activists and citizens, elected representatives and governments
committed to water justice— for all communities to access safe,
affordable water for drinking, fishing, recreational, and cultural uses
in an equitable, effective, democratic way.
We invite and urge movements, organizations, and citizens around the
world to undertake actions in their own countries that reflect their own
struggles, character, and possibilities. This can either be a seminar or
forum about your struggles, rally or symbolic action, a concert or press
conference, etc. All actions related to our common goal of water justice
are welcome—from more modest actions to larger mobilizations.
We invite you to share information about your plans by sending us a
short paragraph outlining your planned activities and engagements
(including date and place), contact details, including Country and
Organization. Information can be sent to mbmanahan at focusweb.org.
This week includes special dates:
Text Box: Calendar of Actions March 14: The International Day of Action
for Rivers http://www.internationalrivers.org/en/day-of-action March 22:
World Water Day
We once again invite you to go to www.peopleswaterforum.org to find out
more about how you can support these efforts. With you, together we can
build a truly global week of action for water justice.
Signatories to the Open Call:
Abdelmawlaa Ismail, Coordinator of Egyptian Committee for Right to Water
and Right to Water Forum in the Arab Region | Africa Water Network |
Aquattac, European Network of Attac water activists | Amigos de la
Tierra Argentina | Association pour le Contrat Mondial de l'Eau, France
| Attac, Finland | Attac, Germany | BanglaPraxis, Bangladesh | Berlin
Water Table, Germany | Blue Planet Project, Canada | Centre for Law,
Policy and Human Rights Studies, Chennai, India | CeVI, Italy | Centre
for Civil Society Environmental Justice Project, Durban, South Africa |
Coalición de Organizaciones Mexicanas por el Derecho al Agua, COMDA,
Mexico | Comité de Enlace de la Red VIDA, the Americas | Coordinadora de
Defensa del Agua y de la Vida, Bolivia | Corporate Accountability
International, USA | Corporate Europe Observatory | Council of Canadians
| CUPE, Canada | Enginyeria Sense Frontere- Catalunya| Federación de
Funcionarios de OSE, Uruguay | Federación de Trabajadores Fabriles de
Cochabamba, Bolivia | Focus on the Global South | Food & Water Watch,
USA | Frances Libertes, France | Freedom from Debt Coalition,
Philippines | Friends of the Earth, Canada | Friends of the Earth,
Finland | Globalization Monitor, Hong Kong | Hemantha Withanage, Centre
for Environmental Justice, Sri Lanka | Italian Committee World Water
Contract | Jubilee South - Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development
(JS APMDD) | National Commission in Defense of Water and Life, Uruguay |
Playapart, Italy | Polaris Institute, Canada | Raja Kassab, Association
pour un Contrat Mondial de l'Eau Maroc, Morocco and Right to Water Forum
in the Arab Region | Solidarity Workshop, International | SuKo, Germany
| Transnational Institute, Europe | Umeedenao Citizen Community Board,
Pakistan | Water Movements Italian Forum | Water Movement, Norway |
International Rivers, US
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