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  • Conflict undermines impact of water forum

Some 24,000 people from more than 180 countries attended last week's World Water Forum in Japan. By its close, 422 'water actions' — concrete measures by which different nations demonstrated their commitment to solving water problems — had been submitted.

But the outbreak of war in Iraq took its toll on the meeting, with leading figures pulling out of the event, and journalists from across the globe complaining that their stories on the meeting were not given space in news pages dominated by war coverage.

Environmental groups, meanwhile, attacked the forum's ministerial statement for skirting controversial issues. And critics said that most of the 'actions', as well as the ministerial statement, were arranged in advance, calling into question whether the event had actually furthered the effort to secure safe water supplies.

Link to Nature news story

Source: Nature 422, 364 (2003)

See also:

3rd World Water Forum
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