MPs from Middle East find innovative solutions to regional water issues

WaterLex has supported IPU to organise and present the Second Roundtable for Water and Peace in the Middle East on 6-7 July 2017. Delegates from Palestine, Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates were joined with other countries from the Middle East IPU committee. The topics discussed were related to water and science for peace, with technological ideas for “making the water pie bigger”, and the importance of good governance to realise implementation of sustainable development goals related to water (SDG6).

Guest speakers included Dr Danilo Turk (Former Prime Minister, Slovenia, and current Chair of the High-Level Panel on Water and Peace); Francois Muenger, Director of the Geneva Water Hub; Dr Herwig Schopper, Founder of SESAME; Dr Maurizio Bona, CERN; and Natasha Carmi, policy advisor on Water to the Palestinian Negotiations Support Project.  WaterLex was represented by Amanda Loeffen, Rose Alabaster and Florian Thevenon to introduce the role of parliamentarians in SDG 6 implementation, case studies on good water governance, and ideas for how the Region could work collaboratively to expedite the introduction of National Action Plans for SDG 6 implementation.

The committee endorsed the programme of action to implement SDG6, including the creation of a Parliamentary Network on Water (PNoW) to enable a platform for sharing information on water governance and technlogies. The PNoW will discuss the assessment of three pilot countries (using WaterLex’s Country Mapping methodology) to create a baseline for starting progress towards improved water and sanitation monitoring and realisation. The Programme of Action will be presented at the IPU General Assembly in St Petersburg this October.

In the words of IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong, “The constructive non-political discussions between MPs and experts that occurred throughout this meeting show that regional solutions can be found to regional problems; and, most importantly, that, by uniting different experts and communities through the neutral lens of science, peace can move from an aspiration to concrete reality.

Please see IPU website for more information on this event.

From left: Bashar Al-Deek (Advisor to the Secretary General of Palestinian Legislative Council), Ibrahim Khreisheh (Secretary General of the Palestinian Legislative Council.), Danilo Turk (Former President of Slovenia), Azzam Al-Ahmad (Member of the Palestinian Legislative Council), Amanda Loeffen (Director General of WaterLex), Ambassador Mokhtar Omar Ibrahim (IPU), Francois Muenger (Director Geneva Water Hub).