Husseini gave a well-received presentation where he talked first about the UfMS vision and its future plan of action in the Water Sector. One of the primary tasks of Environment and Water Division in the UfM Secretariat, Husseini said, is to promote concrete projects, which contribute directly to the implementation of the Horizon 2020 Initiative to De-Pollute the Mediterranean through tackling, by 2020, the sources accounting for around 80% of pollution loading, which are mainly municipal solid and liquid waste and industrial emissions.
“The UfM Secretariat will promote the 3Rs of water management, REDUCE, REUSE and RECYCLE and its projects and activities in 2011 and beyond will be truly based on this slogan”, Husseini added, thereby demonstrating the proactive approach of the UfM Secretariat.
He also explained that The UfM Secretariat will work at strengthening and expanding the existing UfM formal and stakeholders’ platforms such as ARLEM, establishing new platforms, including private-public partnerships, NGOs etc., working with Governmental and Inter-governmental bodies interested in Water issues (GTZ, AFD, DIFD, EC, EIB, World Bank etc.) and collaborating with reputed water bodies (World Water Council, Med. Water Institute etc.).
He further reasserted the crucial role of organizations such as ARLEM to take the lead and move forward the process of regional sustainable development despite the political situation “if the Governments in our region cannot drive the sought-after goal of unity through diversity as quickly or as forcibly as we the people in the Euro-Med want”.
He finally praised the efforts of ARLEM and its SUDEV commission for their “Draft Report on Local Water Management in the Mediterranean”. He recalled relevant and numerous policy proposals present in this report : the pushing for the adoption of the Water Strategy , the involvement of local and regional authorities in its implementation, the establishment of a “consultative committees” to improve effective governance, the production of a “financing Atlas” that includes breakdown of financing opportunities and synergies between different schemes and institutions, the drawing up of updated “list of national and sub-national legislation on water-related issues”, as well as coordination, participation and advice of Euro-Med and International centers of excellence that carry out research on water resource management and channeling them through UfM Euro-Med University in Slovenia (and in Fez, Morocco, in the future).
Other experts submitting interventions included Mr. Philippe Guettier, Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Maritime Affairs representing the French UfM Co-Presidency, Mr. Ramon Luis Valcarcel Siso, President of the Autonomous Region of Murcia, Spain; Mr. Hachmi Kennou, Director of the Mediterranean Water Institute and Governor of the World Council on Water; and Mr. Guy Honore, Coordinator of GTZ Water Management in Jordan, who invited the Deputy Secretary General to further discuss concrete cooperation between GTZ and the UfMS.
This important and fruitful meeting was an important gathering to further develop genuine, collaborative and transparent relationship with the numerous actors, involved in the promotion of a sustainable Mediterranean area.