The first Water Integrity Forum was jointly organized by the Water Integrity Network (WIN), UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and the Water Governance Centre (WGC) in Delft, the Netherlands from 5 – 7 June 2013. It was attended by more than 100 water and integrity experts from more than 60 organizations across the world. The Forum took stock of progress made in addressing integrity challenges and helped in forging coalitions for expanding the base the increasing the pace on water integrity. It brought the problem of corruption out of the closet into the open, raising the stakes to address this challenge.
The Forum came to a successful conclusion with the Ugandan Minister of State for Water Resources, Ms Betty Bigombe announcing that she, together with Ms Kitty van der Heijden, will take the lead in putting water integrity in the global development agenda, especially in ongoing processes like the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
Kitty van der Heijden is Ambassador for Sustainable Development & Director of Climate, Environment, Energy and Water Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Before making the declaration, Betty Bigombe and Kitty van der Heijden had an impromptu consultation during the closing session of the Forum.
Apart from this political support, the Water Integrity Forum also released a draft statement after intense consultations with the Forum participants who agreed to it in principle. One of the highlights of the statement called for moving towards a universal code of conduct for individual and institutional behavior.
The Forum statement cautioned that the costs of inaction are too high to remain passive. The Forum and its partners call on governments, UN and other international organizations, the corporate sector and civil society to promote water integrity.
For more information, see the Forum website.
Good water governance is crucial for equitable use and distribution of water supply and sanitation services, and for a well-managed water sector. But it is often hindered by corruption which affects all aspects of the water sector and puts lives and livelihoods at risk.
Transparency, accountability and participation are key to increase integrity, without which corruption cannot be successfully addressed. It is therefore urgent to extend the base for and increase the pace of joint water integrity action. This is why the Water Integrity Network (WIN), UNESCO-IHE and the Water Governance Centre (WGC) organised the first Water Integrity Forum on 5–7 June 2013.
The Forum brought together a wide range of stakeholders including representatives from governments, financial institutions, companies, knowledge institutes, NGOs and water professionals from various continents, in order to:
- Take stock of progress in addressing corruption issues in the water sector;
- Share knowledge, approaches and experiences;
- Build alliances to address the integrity challenges in the water sector.
The outcomes of the Forum will form the basis of a key publication on water integrity and will feed into other processes and events, such as the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, the Budapest Water Summit, World Water Week 2013 and the 7th World Water Forum.
Plenary Sessions Video Recordings
For those unable to join the first Water Integrity Forum, the plenary sessions were recorded on video.