ISTANBUL, Turkey, March 22 (Xinhua) -- The Istanbul
Ministerial Statement came out on the last day of 5th World Water Forum Sunday
without recognizing water as a human right.
The final statement does not say water is a human
right, against the wishes of some countries. It said "We acknowledge the
discussions with the UN system regarding human rights and access to safe
drinking water and sanitation. We recognize that access to safe drinking water
and sanitation is a basic human need."
Whether water is a human right has long been a hot
topic. It also became a much-debated issue during this forum which drew a lot of
attention of the participants.
In 2006, the 4th edition of the forum held in Mexico
City adopted a declaration excluding water as a human right, against the wishes
of the European Union, Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela and Uruguay, only saying that
water was "critically important" for human development.
The Istanbul Ministerial Statement, adopted by
ministers and heads of delegations of more than 150 countries, reaffirms the
prior commitments by national governments to achieve the internationally agreed
upon goals on water and sanitation.
The heads also agreed to support the implementation
of integrated water resources management and improve water demand management,
productivity and efficiency of water use for agriculture, strengthen the
prevention of pollution from all sectors in surface and groundwater, resolve to
work to prevent and respond to natural and human-induced disasters and strive to
improve water-related monitoring systems.
The week-long 5th World Water Forum, with the theme
of "Bridging Divides for Water," concluded Sunday in the biggest Turkish city of
Istanbul, attracting a record of 25,000 participants from all over the world
aimed to seek solutions to the world's water problems and promote cooperation
among states and organizations.