The 7th World Water Forum kicked off in Daegu on April 12 with an opening ceremony attended by 1,800 high-ranking international and domestic officials.
Under the slogan of “Water for Our Future,” the forum will take place until April 17 at the EXCO in Daegu and the HICO in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, with the core value of “Implementation.”
Held every three years by the World Water Council, the World Water Forum is the largest international event to discuss water-related issues that takes place around World Water Day on March 22.
This year, about 30,000 participants from 170 countries participated in the event, including leaders, high-ranking government officials, international organization officials, scholars, businessmen related to water, non-governmental organization activists, and citizens.
Speaking during the opening ceremony, South Korean President Park Geun-hye said that the forum will promote global peace by providing solutions to global crises that are water-related conflicts. "South Korea, as a part of the world's only divided country, seeks to build a communication channel though this Water Forum by starting co-management of rivers passing through the South and the North," she said. "We believe that our efforts both to ease the tension between the South and the North, which has made a crisis in Northeast Asia, and to take care of two-thirds of the world's population living under water-stressed conditions will make ways to contribute to world peace."
Park added, "It is urgent for us to move forward to a new era of peace and cooperation for our future by settling water-connected conflicts in this world. Both advanced and emerging countries should necessitate efforts to make water-related challenges an opportunity for economic growth of all global players."
More than 400 sessions are scheduled to discuss water-related issues under four sections; thematic, political, science and technology, and regional processes.
The sessions of thematic and science and technology processes and the Water Expo will be held in Daegu, while the sessions of political and regional processes and the citizen’s forum will be held in Gyeongju.
A total of 135 sessions of thematic processes, which are the core processes of the World Water Forum, will take place under 16 themes, including climate change, natural disasters, and energy. Through a special session participated in by high-ranking officials, various water-related issues will be discussed, including measures to supply resources and the objectives of sustainable development.
The Water Expo is held in EXCO in Daegu, attended by 294 companies and institutions from 39 countries.
It will have various cultural events based on water, including a film festival, a photo exhibition, and a Hallyu concert to attract participation from not only water experts but also regular people. Also, it will introduce tourism programs in the region to foreign participants.