New perspectives at the Fore: Gearing up for the 2019 SIWI High Level Panel on Water Diplomacy

Blog Jul 15, 2019

The Venn diagram for those trained in both water resource management and diplomacy and conflict management is rather slim.  Elizabeth Yaari explains how these paths will cross at World Water Week 2019. 

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Diplomats, technical experts, community leaders and even military officials can find themselves leading cross-boundary negotiations over shared waters as part of ongoing conflict resolution, peacekeeping and post conflict recovery processes. This is particularly the case in the world’s so called ‘forgotten water conflicts’ often characterized by protracted humanitarian disasters. 

During the 2018 High Level Panel on Water Diplomacy, UN Deputy Secretary-GeneralAmina J. Mohammed challenged the plenary, ‘‘We must strengthen hydro-diplomacy in the framework of water stress-related conflict-prevention strategies, and take action where water-related risks may exacerbate fragility, conflict, or forced displacement.” 

Responding to this call, this year the 2019 High Level Panel on Water Diplomacy – Leaving No One Behind seeks to elevate new perspectives in water diplomacy and forgotten water conflicts in line with the World Water Week theme “Water for society – Including all’ – inclusive of linkages to peace and security, human rightsbased approaches and institutional building 

High level panelists from different sectors will join the World Water Week to share their experience and perspectives on the role of shared water resources as a tangible entry point for sustained dialogue and conflict prevention in regions prone to political tensions and armed violence 

Countries and basins in focus this year will be represented by leading officialsnegotiators, and civil society representatives from Yemen, South Sudan and Lebanon with specific perspectives from third party facilitators in these contexts from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the EU, the World Bank, and UNESCO among othersIn addition, the event will feature two not-to-be-missed keynote speeches – from Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström as well as from a surprise guest.  

As in 2018, the High Level Panel on Water Diplomacy aims to elevate the critical intersect of water security and transboundary water management to ensure “Water for society – Including all” also includes communities, countries and basins often left out of the spotlight.  

Mark your calendars today! We look forward to welcoming you at this World Water Week special event. 

The 2019 High Level Panel on Water Diplomacy is organized annually by SIWI’s Transboundary Water Management Department. For information on this event please visit: https://programme.worldwaterweek.org/event/8359-high-level-panel-on-water-diplomacy—leaving-no-one-behind 

For World Water Week registration please visit: http://www.worldwaterweek.org/practical-information/