By Yoonjin Kim, Executive Director of Korea Water Forum
What is the importance of the Dakar Forum for you and Korea Water Forum ?
The World Water Forum in Dakar is very important milestone not only for the Korea Water Forum (KWF) but also for the water related multi-stakeholders in water sector of the Republic of Korea. The KWF has actively engaged in the World Water Forum as the national coordinator for the Korean delegation’s participation since the 4th edition of the Forum. Since after Korean water actors were engaged in the World Water Forum, the KWF has shared the most updated information of the forum process to its wide network and also delivered Korean partners’ voices to the Forum process.
Likewise, the preparatory period of the 9th Forum in Dakar is the key milestone to plan our gathering of the water networks and partners in and outside of Korea. For the upcoming 9th Forum, the KWF has making its efforts to contribute to the Forum by sharing important messages and plans of the Dakar Forum to the Korean partners and professionals as well as the civil society and discussing how to bring and connect the follow up actions of the 7th Forum to the 9th Forum. The core value of the 7th Forum in Korea was ‘implementation’, which aligns with the 9th forum’s keynote that seeks actual responses to global water challenges with an action.
Based on the KWF’s history with the World Water Fora, with a strong will to link proper partners to the next forum and to bring sustainable value to the Dakar Forum, the members and partners of the KWF will spur the development of the plans and actions for the World Water Forum in Dakar. In this process, based on my career as the regional and thematic coordinator of the 6th and 8th Forum, the manager of the Science and Technology Process at the national committee for the 7th Forum, and as a ISC member and Co-chair of the priority ‘Cooperation’ of the 9th Forum, I will extend my scope of partnering and facilitate actions towards the 9th Forum in Dakar, the next leap forward towards sustainable water secure world.
What are your involvement in the working groups, your impressions on the results of the first stage and the next steps ?
In the priority ‘Cooperation’, diverse well-known global and local partners, under the guidance of the ISC members from the World Water Council and the Senegalese Forum secretariat, are involved as action and consultative group members. We regularly have our pilot group meetings with our group members including OMVG, OMVS, INBO, UNECE and I participate as a co-chair of the ‘Cooperation’ priority. At the first stage, the pilot group set the plans for the procedure of developing the priority with conceptualizing ‘Cooperation’ in the 9th World Water Forum and prioritized the issues to make a framework for actions based on the discussion in the Kick- off Meeting.
Four priorities have 5 to 6 items of action framework in relation to the SDGs. We also have serious and active discussion on the development of procedure and plans for the priority ‘Cooperation’ by reviewing action plans and expected outcomes developed by the action groups. In collaboration between pilot, action, and consultative groups, concrete plans and outcomes are identified more specifically and this in-depth discussion to realize water cooperation on the ground in consideration of both local and global contexts will facilitate the 9th forum be more tangible and pragmatic.
Although it is not easy task in this COVID situation to interact more often or closer than before, all group members take this online communication as a new normal channel to cooperate in the post COVID era. In addition to developing our action plans for the Forum, we expect the value of bridging the gap of information, knowledge and experience between multi-stakeholders, generations and sectors is to be reflected to ‘actions’ led by the members of the priority ‘Cooperation’.
How do you think the Forum will contribute in accelerating access to water and sanitation worldwide ?
The 9th Forum has strategically well designed in its formation of priorities to be aligned with the SDG6: water and sanitation. With a different format of integration of all processes into four priorities- framework, the 9th Forum, at the social, political and economic levels, is expected to catalyze for action to accelerate universal access to water and sanitation linking to global agendas and commitment relating to SDGs. Dakar initiative will also contribute to the realization of the plans and commitment for water and sanitation for both local and global communities.
As the first World Water Forum hosted by the African country after the UN ushered SDGs in as the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, it is very meaningful to emphasize and link the values of SDG 6 and its targets to the Forum processes. Every single topic and project of action framework of the four priorities are linked to the targets of the SDGs, and this reflects how everyone deeply consider ‘water and sanitation’ as the basis of their further plans and implementation. As the COVID-19 response, the 9th Forum will be the place for enhancing availability and access to water, sanitation and hygiene services.
In addition, funding and support to reach more people with basic water, sanitation and hygiene facilities are expected to be discussed practically at the Forum. Above all, we also need to think of post-Forum processes for continuing those efforts to share the value made by the 9th Forum and visualize the value with the follow up projects to contribute to the universal access to safe water and sanitation.
About Korea Water Forum
The Korea Water Forum(KWF) is a multi-stakeholder’ water network platform. KWF established with the aims of fostering partnership for international water cooperation, facilitating knowledge and information sharing with water professionals, Awareness raising and capacity building of the youth on water, Developing the follow-up measures of the 7th World Water Forum for the next World Water Forum.