As legislators who have come together at the World Encounter of Water Legislators within the framework of the 4th World Water Forum, on the 18th to 21st of March, 2006 in Mexico City, and as popular representatives sensitive to social demands and to the challenges relating to the provision, management, protection and financing of water systems, as well as to the sustainability of water resources, we recognize that we face important challenges in terms of water policies and actions. These challenges require local, national, regional and international action.

We are worried by the existence of hundreds of millions of people who do not have access to a sufficient quality and quantity of water needed for their development. We also vindicate the fact that water cannot be an element of conflict.

We, as parliamentarians, commit to propelling a legal framework from our sphere of activity that responds adequately to the policies and perspectives posed by each country, that promotes and recognizes the participation of citizens, and that contributes with proposals of public policies and legal norms within the international arena.

Within the framework of the 4th World Water Forum, we, as members of parliament and senators, have recognized the vital importance of the planet’s water. With this in mind, we declare the following:

1. Water is neither a commodity nor a renewable resource. Water has a social, environmental and economic worth; it is an essential resource and property of the public domain.

2. We seek to make sure that actions carried out locally by every one of us, are joined for the shaping of an international commitment that will recognize access to water as an essential right of all human beings, irrespective of their place of birth or the country in which they live.

3. We invite developed countries to support poorer countries in providing safe drinking water to marginalized communities through cooperation and solidarity programs.

4. We consider that all water and sanitation provision programs should promote gender and ethnic equality.

5. We commit to transferring the initiative to our own parliaments, of creating a coalition of water related legislative commission members belonging to different national parliaments. This coalition will work, among other tasks, on identifying the eventual needs of enriching water-related international law, on following-up the commitments established on the subject, as well as on finding more concrete proposals that have no objective other than that of resolving this sensitive aspect of the problem.

 6. We recognize the existence of proposals coming from various discussion areas of international law and from documents presented at this international legislative encounter, that will need to be further analyzed and discussed via a second world meeting of water legislators.

Mexico City, on March 20, 2006.

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