Local Authorities Kick-Off Meeting – Lyon – France

The 30 and 31 May 2011, Greater Lyon and the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency hosted the International Kick-Off meeting of the 6th World Water Forum Local and Regional Authorities’ political process.
Here are the speeches of the opening and closing sessions of the event.

Monday 30 May 2011 – Opening Session speeches
Tuesday 31 May 2011 – Closing Session  speeches

Serge Lepeltier
Coordinator of the 6th World Water Forum Local Authorities’ Political Process


“During the 6th Forum in Marseille, we would like all the local and regional authorities to play a full part, so that we can measure the responsibility of local authorities in the management of water and so that they can contribute many positive points for the improvement of its governance”.
We would also like the 6th World Water Forum to be the time for solutions. The local authorities must be able to show what solutions they have adopted for good water management, and these examples be able to participate in the improvement of water at international level …since in the world one billion inhabitants have no access to water and 1. Bn have no access to sanitation”
Serge Lepeltier, coordinator of the 6th World Water Forum Local Authorities’ Political Process.
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Margaret Pageler
Coordinator of the 6th World Water Forum Local Authorities’ Political Process


"The water community has globally recognised that we can’t solve our water problems, we can’t meet the world water needs just with national declarations or United Nations level good will. The local authorities must be engaged and have a critical role to play."
Margaret Pageler, Governor of the World Water Council, Member of the Executive Committee of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), coordinator of the the World Water Forum local authoritie’s political process.

Jean-Paul Colin

President of the Lyon Urban Community
representing Gérard Collomb
Senator, Mayor of Lyon and President of the Greater Lyon Community


“In a context of the growth of cities, and the ever more poignant importance of the urban dynamics in the national economies and international relations, the metropolitan areas are the strategic place for the promotion of sustainable development. This is particularly true for the question of the water resource, for it is in the city that many of the stakes linked to water are played out - supply, treatment, distribution, sharing, sanitation – the responses are also to be found here since the local authorities are the main managers of this resource”.
“By signing the Istanbul Consensus, the partners have recognized the urgent need to develop new frameworks for more effective action: local and regional governments depend in fact on legal, institutional and financial frameworks which are too often far removed from the realities of the field. In these circumstances and in the face of this emergency, we have undertaken to do something which it is in our power to do to improve the governance of water and orient our local policies towards a more sustainable management of water resources and the infrastructure of water and sanitation systems”.
Jean-Paul Colin, Vice-Chair of Greater Lyon and Mayor of Albigny-sur-Saône, 30 May 2011 at Lyon during the conference to kick off the political process of the local and regional authorities.
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Guy Fradin

Vice-President of the International Forum Committee
representing Benedito Braga
President of the International Forum Committee


“Behind the time for solutions, there is the time for commitments.
Indeed the solutions have to a large extent already been identified or implemented. Our ambition of the highest order is to translate and implement our preoccupations.
“The Istanbul Consensus is a concrete element translating these commitments …in line with the Millenium Goals in terms of access to water and sanitation”
“This Local Authority process is part of the political process. It was born of the Mexico City forum, and matured at the forum in Istanbul. Our ambition lies in the implementation of the solutions through our proposals and commitment decisions”.
“In the course of the 9 months of preparation, you will be called upon to work, to exchange your experiences, to make proposals, through a route map”
Guy Fradin, Vice-Chair of the World Water Forum, Governor of the World Water Council  , Managing Director of the Seine Normandy Water Agency.
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Enver Sengul

representing Kadir Topbas
Mayor of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)


« Local and regional governments will need to increase their ownership in the process in order to keep the control on decisions that have an effect on them.
We firmly believe, that the local level is in a privileged position to response most adequately to the needs and expectations of citizens, communities and territories…
Climate change calls more than ever for collective action: facing the emergency, national governments should facilitate us access to mechanisms of adaptation and mitigation to answer the challenges.
We must share our solutions in order to fully remain in the spirit of the next World Water Forum. Our citizens have great expectations towards their elected officials and we need to respond to these expectations. »
E. Sengul, Councillor, representing Kadir Topbas, Mayor of Istanbul and Chair of  United Cities and Local Governments.

Martin Guespereau

General Director of the French Water Agency for the Rhône-Mediterranean and Corsica


“Solutions cannot be implemented without the priority involvement of local authorities. This is what we have always defended in our water agencies since their foundation in the 1960s”.
“The European Water Framework Directive, adopted by the European Union in September 2000, reinforces this evolution.”
“Finally, I would like to mention the decentralized cooperation in the water domain… The Oudin-Santini law has laid a legal framework which we needed… to finance actions of cooperation with local authorities in foreign countries.”
Martin Guespereau, Managing Director of the Rhone-Mediterranean and Corsica Water Agency.
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