World Social Forum, Caracas, 2006

Social Movements' Declaration on Water

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Building on the work of meetings of previous years, social movements involved in the struggles for the rights to water and against its commoditisation from across the world met at the World Social Forum in Caracas. They succeeded in pooling the work of various workshops and built a common platform which examined regional issues within a global understanding of water.


  1. Water is a common good and access is a fundamental, inalienable human right. Water is a patrimony belonging to communities, peoples and humanity; it is the essential basis for life on earth. Water is not a commodity! Therefore we reject all forms of privatisation, including Public –Private Partnerships
  2. Management and control of water needs to be in a sphere that is public, social, community-based, participative and not based on profit. All local, national and international public institutions have a responsibility to ensure these conditions
  3. Solidarity must be assured for present and future generations. Therefore we reject a model of water development that is industrial and consumerist and which encourages over-exploitation of Mother Earth
  4. Sustainable management of the ecosystem and the preservation of the hydrological cycle is based on the protection of land, conservation of the natural environment and establishing hydrographic basins as basic units; which would enable more effective public participation in all aspects of planning, management and control;


    1. The organizations, social movements, governments and parliaments to include these principles in all local, national and international legal frameworks;


  1. The exclusion of water from the market-based rules imposed by the World Trade Organization, Free Trade Agreements and other international investment and trade accords.
  2. The abolition of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), considering the experience of Cochabamba and other people struggling to recover sovereignty and public control over their communal resources.
  3. The recovery and promotion of public, social, community-based, participatory and holistic management of water;


  1. The demands of multinationals and corporations for lost profits and compensation for investments as illegitimate;


  1. The Governments that participate in the World Water Forum in Mexico City, and in meetings of Mercusor, the European Union and the World Bank to reject any proposal that does not take these demands into account;


  1. To share experiences of establishing solidarity funds for financing models of public, participative, community and social management as well as experiences of forming networks like the initiative of the “Water Carriers.”
  2. The creation of a social watchdog or observatory comprised of social organizations, movements and international cooperation networks to monitor the activities of transnationals related to water and other public goods and resources, that would also involve the European Parliament, local governments, and the ndemocratic institutions of Latin América;


  1. To building committees and groups that through public education, organization and mobilization at local, national, regional and global levels can deliver these objectives to strengthening the campaigns against privatization, such as the campaign ¨Water Out of the WTO.”
  2. To articulate the fight in defense of water alongside other social movements.

We plan to continue strengthening the links between social movements related to water at the following key dates in 2006:

- The “Citizens’ Days” in Mexico City in March
- The meeting of “Alternative Links” –European Union and Latin América in Vienna in May
- The meeting of the “South American Community of Nations” in Bolivia in September
- The “Citizens’ Water Assembly” in Brussels in December

Caracas, Venezuela
January 27, 2006
Hemispheric Social Alliance
International Committee for a Global Water Treaty
The GUE/NGL Group of the European Parliment (European Union)
HIC Latin America

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