Ex-Japanese PM to Launch Water Forum for Asia and Pacific

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (25 September 2006) - Former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori will visit ADB this week to officially launch a new network that will identify and adopt new approaches to tackling water issues in the region.

The goal of the network, the Asia-Pacific Water Forum (APWF), is to contribute to sustainable water management and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific. It will achieve this by capitalizing on the region’s diversity and rich history of experience and by boosting investments, building capacity, and enhancing cooperation in the water sector at the regional level and beyond.

The forum's creation was announced at the 4th World Water Forum in Mexico in March by Ryutaro Hashimoto, late President of the Japan Water Forum (JFW), and supported in a joint declaration by ministers of seven countries: Bangladesh, People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Mongolia, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Palau. The initiative is also backed by ADB, which has already provided support to JWF in the preparations for the formation and launch of APWF in Mexico and Manila.

Mr. Mori, the new President of the Japan Water Forum, will give opening remarks at the launch, to be held at ADB Headquarters. The venue for the first Asia-Pacific Water Summit, to be organized by APWF in Japan in the third quarter of next year, will also be announced.

Other major participants at the launch will be:

  • Haruhiko Kuroda, ADB President
  • Erna Witoelar, Vice Chair of the Governing Council of Asia-Pacific Water Forum, UN Special Ambassador for Millennium Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific
  • Ravi Narayanan, Vice Chair of the Governing Council of Asia-Pacific Water Forum, Former Chief Executive of WaterAid

Press representatives interested in attending should contact:

ADB: Graham Dwyer, (632) 632 5253; cell: (0920) 938 6487

Japan Water Forum: Taeko Yokota / Noriko Yamaguchi (813) 5212 1645

Visit the APWF web site.