The UfM Secretariat is currently developing a strategy to implement the UfM Water Agenda with a view to enhancing regional cooperation in the field, thus contributing to an integrated water management in the UfM region.
Ramallah, 28 June 2018. In line with the framework of the UfM Water Agenda and with a view to enhancing cooperation and ensuring coherence with relevant partners and initiatives in the UfM region, the UfM actively participated in the 1st Palestine International Water Forum, held on 25-28 June 2018, in Ramallah.
The Forum, held under the title ‘Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM): Best Practices and Technology Transfer’, provided the opportunity to discuss new IWRM tools to better prevent the water crisis, address water scarcity, enhance efficient water management, and ultimately, contribute to water security. The event gathered decision makers, water management practitioners, international water experts as well as regional and international organizations to share concrete experiences and explore innovative perspectives.
“I am very pleased to see the success of the Palestine International Water Forum in bringing together in Ramallah the most important regional partners and researchers on Integrated Water Resources Management. This Forum provides a unique opportunity to showcase regional cooperation actions to address water scarcity by developing innovative and high tech solutions for the water sector in the region”, said UfM Deputy Secretary General for Water, Environment and Blue Economy, Miguel García-Herraiz.
The Head of the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) and Minister of Water, Mazen Ghnaim, said that: “This forum constitutes a unique opportunity for the region to exchange best practices to ensure sound measures to properly manage our water resources and ensure good quality with affordable prices for our communities who suffer water shortages”. He also highlighted “the important role of the Union for the Mediterranean, a key partner of this event, in supporting the implementation of a water agenda for the region and in facilitating the advancement of the Desalination facility for the Gaza Strip project, following the successful Donor Conference held last March in Brussels”.
Almotaz Abadi, Senior Adviser at the UfM Secretariat, chaired a session dedicated to the Sustainable Development of Water Resources, which covered the Water-Energy-Food-Nexus, Water Governance and Regulating and investment. Abadi confirmed that these areas are at the heart of the efforts to develop the UfM Water Agenda, elaborated by the UfM Water Expert Group as defined in the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Water. The declaration was endorsed by the 43 Member States of the Union for the Mediterranean in April 2017.
The Forum took place under the auspices of President Mahmoud Abbas and was inaugurated by Dr Khairiya Rasas on behalf of the Prime Minister of the Government of Palestine, Rami Hamdallah. Organised by the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) under the leadership of Minister Mazen Ghunaim, the event was held in partnership with the Union for the Mediterranean. UfM Deputy Secretary General Miguel García-Herraiz participated in the opening ceremony accompanied by UfM Senior Adviser Almotaz Abadi.