The synthesis report of the 9th World Water Forum held from 21-26 March 2022 in Dakar has been approved by the government of Senegal, the World Water Council, and the Executive Committee of the Forum.
Entitled “A Blue Deal on water security and sanitation for peace and development”, the report summarises the results of a new form of integrated and results-oriented dialogue launched by the Executive Secretariat of the Forum.
The event featured representation from 94 countries with several heads of state and 92 ministers and was attended by more than 8000 participants. The results of the forum are anchored in the concept of a Blue Deal, consisting of key messages, recommendations, commitments, and initiatives that emanated from the stakeholder process.
The key outputs were the Dakar Declaration, four international action plans at different institutional levels, the launch of a global youth movement for water, and the recommendations, commitments and initiatives made by stakeholders during the forum.
During the High-Level component, Senegalese President Macky Sall, pointing to the challenges related to water scarcity and the threat of conflict, called for water issues to be placed at the heart of the international agenda. World Water Council President Loïc Fauchon called for the development of a Blue Fund and the cancellation of water-related debt for the benefit of investments in access to water and sanitation.
The Dakar Declaration is the key guiding vision emerging from the forum and hinges on five principal pillars: accelerated implementation of the human rights to water and sanitation and humanitarian law, guaranteeing water security and climate resilience, ensuring adequate financing, ensuring inclusive water governance, and strengthening water cooperation.
These five pillars of the "Blue Deal" are associated with corresponding action plans at the ministerial level, for parliamentarians, for local and regional authorities, for river basin organisations, and for local authorities.
Beyond these responsibilities of public office bearers, the Dakar Declaration identifies four priority thematic areas on which all stakeholders in the water sector are encouraged to collaborate. These are:
- to ensure that universal water security and sanitation are realised in practice,
- reorientation of efforts towards rural areas to reduce inequalities and protect water resources,
- improvement of transboundary cooperation and hydrodiplomacy for peacebuilding, and
- increased focus on supporting means and tools such as financing, multi-level governance, legislation, and the application of science and innovation.