The Tenth Session of ESCWA Committee on Water Resources concluded its deliberations on 22 March, coinciding with the International Water Day, with the adoption of over 24 recommendations submitted to member countries and the Commission’s Secretariat, which support “Regional Cooperation in the Field of Water Resources”, the slogan of the Session.
The Water Committee was held in Beirut in the presence of ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Nadim Khoury, Chairman of General Authority for Water and Sanitation Projects in Rural Areas in the Yemeni Ministry of Water and Environment Adel Alhaddad, in his capacity as chairman of the Ninth Session, Ambassador of the League of Arab States (LAS) to Lebanon, Abdurrahman Al Solh, and designated delegates of ESCWA member countries.
The opening session was followed by the election of officers according to ESCWA’s rules of procedure, with Jordan assuming the chairmanship of the Tenth Session, represented by Ali Mohamed Subah, Assistant Secretary-General for Technical Affairs at the Ministry of Water and Irrigation. Vice chairs were designated as Bahrain and Yemen, represented by Abdulla Ali AlBaskati Chief of Bahraini Water Conservation Electricity and Water Authority and Adel Alhaddad consecutively. Sudan’s representative, Ahmed Adam Ibrahim Kabo, Director General of Planning Policies and Projects at the Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity was designated as rapporteur.
The recommendations revolved around three main areas: the follow-up on the Millennium Development Goals through the implementation of the MDG+ Initiative and regional inputs to global deliberations on the sustainable development goals within the context of preparations for a post-2015 development agenda; the follow-up on the implementation of the Regional Initiative for the Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Socio-Economic Vulnerability in the Arab Region (RICCAR) and activating the exchange of information and establishment of a regional knowledge hub in support of this United Nations-League of Arab States Initiative coordinated by ESCWA; and improving regional coordination in the area of shared water resources management, including efforts to support the finalization of the Inventory on Shared Water Resources in Western Asia being prepared by the ESCWA-BGR Cooperation.
The Session aimed at providing an intergovernmental forum to discuss these challenges, with a focus on regional approaches for addressing water supply and sanitation, climate change and shared water resources management. Discussions also addressed the issue of regional cooperation in monitoring and reporting on water supply and sanitation, assessing climate change impact on water resources and managing shared water resources in the Arab region. Member Countries’ representatives also reviewed the progress achieved in implementing the recommendations made by the Committee at its 9th Session and work undertaken by ESCWA in the field of water resources under its programme of work since that Session, in addition to ESCWA strategic framework for the biennium 2014-2015.
The Committee on Water Resources was established pursuant to a resolution issued by ESCWA in 1995, which was later endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and that given the importance of the participation of ESCWA Member Countries in the planning, development and monitoring of ESCWA programme of work in the field of water resources.
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