21st Century Talks: The future of WaterParis - “The Future of Water” is the theme of the next session of the 21st Century Talks to be held at UNESCO Headquarters on January 28 and featuring four well-known speakers: Mahmud Abu-Zeid, Claude Allčgre, Michel Camdessus and Charles Vörösmarty.
The session, to be opened by UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, is part of the International Year of Freshwater (2003) launched by the United Nations on December 12 last. Other major events for this year include the 3rd World Water Forum to be held in Japan in March and the launch of the World Water Development Report.
The Year marks a realisation that water does not always mean life, abundance and cleanliness. How can we prevent more than three million people dying each year from water-borne diseases? How can we curb over-exploitation of water resources? In sum, how can we ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water? This session of the Talks will point the way towards developing a new approach to water.
Mahmud Abu-Zeid is Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation. He is also the President of the World Water Council, co-chair of the organizing committee of the forthcoming World Water Forum and a former head of UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP).
Geophysicist Claude Allčgre is a former French Minister of Education, Research and Technology, a member of the French Academy of Sciences and author of many books.
Michel Camdessus was formerly Director-General of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and is presently head of the Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure (a financial taskforce for the World Water Forum). He is also the representative of French President Jacques Chirac to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
Charles Vörösmarty is associate professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space, at the University of New Hampshire (United States).
This 23rd session of the 21st Century Talks, organized by UNESCO’s Division of Foresight, Philosophy and Human Sciences and the Science Sector, will take place on January 28, starting at 6 p.m. in Room II (with audiovisual transmission in Room IV), at UNESCO Headquarters, 125 avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris. The session is open to all.