Istanbul International Water Forum Focuses on Water for Peace
Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu
story highlights

Syrian refugees featured high on the agenda of the 4th Istanbul International Water Forum, which took place on the theme of ‘Water for Peace’.

At the Forum, hosted by the Government of Turkey, participants in four thematic sessions discussed water for peace, implementing the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), humanitarian relief, and urban water management.

11 May 2017: Syrian refugees featured high on the agenda of the 4th Istanbul International Water Forum, which focused on the theme, ‘Water for Peace.’ The Water Forum, hosted by the Government of Turkey, drew more than 1,600 participants from 64 countries. Participants in four thematic sessions discussed water for peace, implementing the water-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), humanitarian relief, and urban water management.

The 4th Istanbul International Water Forum took place from 10-11 May, jointly organized by the Government of Turkey’s General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works and the Turkish Water Institute. Many UN entities and international organizations took part in the event, including the UN Environment Programme – Global Programme Action (UNEP-GPA), UN-Water, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

A special session focused on the challenge of providing water and sanitation services to Syrian refugees currently in Turkey and other host countries. Speakers emphasized that the international community should share responsibility and increase the financial options for host countries, stating that the refugee crisis is a matter of global concern.

Therese Sjömander Magnusson, Director of Transboundary Water Management at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), called on all participants to practice “water diplomacy”, which, she recommended, should be tailored to each situation, and should aim for “realistic achievements.”

Speaking on ‘water for peace,’ Therese Sjömander Magnusson, Director of Transboundary Water Management at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), called on all participants to practice “water diplomacy”, which, she recommended, should be tailored to each situation, and should aim for “realistic achievements.”

The Istanbul International Water Forum takes place in the lead-up to the World Water Forum, a triennial event. The next World Water Forum will be the eighth such event, and will be held in Brazil in 2018. [4th Istanbul International Water Forum] [Special Session Web Page] [Thematic Sessions Web Page] [SIWI Press Release]


related events