World Water Forum 2012: Host Country and City Selected

Photo: Tolga Sezgin © NarPhotos

Photo: Tolga Sezgin © NarPhotos

Madrid. The World Water Council selected Marseille, France as the city and country to host the 2012 World Water Forum. The selection followed a rigorous process for evaluating the candidates and a final vote from the Council’s Board of Governors. The World Water Forum is the world’s largest water gathering that brings together over 20,000 political leaders, NGOs, government officials, water professionals, and scientists every three years.

“Thank you for your confidence and for this important challenge you have given us”, said Martine Vassal, Deputy Mayor of Marseille. In an effort to benefit from the excellent quality of the two final candidatures, France and South Africa, the Governors of the World Water Council suggested that the countries work hand in hand. “Our engagement to host the World Water Forum in 2012 is very strong and we really want to work together to bring solutions to the world’s water challenges,” Vassal continued, stressing the candidates’ will to join forces.

Prior to the vote, South Africa and France both had agreed to a partnership for the preparation of the next Forum. As such, when Marseille was selected, it extended an invitation to Durban, South Africa to be a full partner in the years running up to the Forum. “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”, said one of the participants in the Board, emphasizing the unique opportunity that this partnership entails.
After extending his congratulations to France, Kevin Wall, Alternate Governor of the World Water Council representing the South African candidacy, committed the full support of South Africa to the success of the World Water Forum in 2012 in Marseille. “We are very happy to be part of this process and enthusiastic to offer our experience.”

The French candidacy showcased a will to engage people regionally in the global debate around water, but at the same time made it clear that debate is not enough. Through its candidacy, France committed to making the World Water Forum in 2012, “the Forum of Solutions”, drawing from the many concrete successes that France has had in the environmental domain.