Multinational Corporations' New World Water

The fifth World Water Forum, in Istanbul, Turkey, is titled "Bridging Divides for Water." It's an ironic choice, writes Mark Hays, as the corporations steering the Forum "have a stake in maximizing profits from water services delivery and the current global water crisis." The Forum is organized by the World Water Council, "an organization founded, led and influenced by transnational corporations, international financial institutions and their allies." Activists peacefully protesting the Forum have been tear-gassed, arrested and deported. A major concern is the CEO Water Mandate, "an initiative launched in March 2008 and sponsored by the United Nations Global Compact." The voluntary "corporate social responsibility" effort supposedly "encourages and enables corporations to take responsibility for their impact on global water resources." Yet it is led by companies that "have come under scrutiny" for hindering access to water: Coca-Cola, SUEZ, Nestle, PepsiCo and Groupe Danone. Activists are calling on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "to withdraw UN support for the CEO Water Mandate because of its inherent conflicts of interest and lack of transparency." A new report (pdf) documents how the World Water Council controls the Forum's agenda, especially on "the politically sensitive topics of finance and public vs. private roles in the water sector." Language supporting a "human right to water" has been taken out of the Forum's Ministerial Statement, and UN General Assembly President and water rights supporter Miguel D'escoto Brockman wasn't allowed to address the Forum.


that speaks volumes about the Forum's agenda:


Maude, Wenona Hauter, the Executive Director of Food and Water Watch, and I needed to use the bathrooms at the World Water Forum and discovered that there were separate bathrooms for the VIPs which we were not allowed to use. When we finally made our way to the ordinary people's bathrooms, we discovered there was no running water, so the toilets wouldn't flush and we couldn't wash our hands.

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Water should be free to everyone. It confuses me that people have to fight for water.

It's amazing how as human beings we fight and try to deprive others of the simplest of rights..

I agree with you the water should be free to all human being but think back then maybe we are paying for the services to the company who provide the water because they try to keep the clean water to our house =) we are not pay for the water but we pay for the service I guest.Peace =)

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It is simply insane that now water can become the next currency. It seems that humanity has been victim of monopolies trying to take everything from us. Now water? I think it is time to stop and try to realize that the way society is going... well.. it is simply not good. I pray to god for the future of my kids