Within the work of the Arab Ministerial Meeting for Water... Minister Ghunaim: “Arab cooperation has become an obligation and not an option within the strategy of achieving water security" | PWA
Publish date: 2020/11/25

Within the work of the Arab Ministerial Meeting for Water... Minister Ghunaim: “Arab cooperation has become an obligation and not an option within the strategy of achieving water security"

Ramallah: A virtual meeting was held for the work of the 12th Session of the Arab Ministerial Council for Water, chaired by Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi and the presence of Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit and ministers of the Arab countries, where the meeting discussed a range of water issues within the framework of joint Arab action to achieve development, security and stability in the Arab region, which included files related to accelerated political developments, and discussed the frequency of climate phenomena and the challenges resulting from them, as well as the repercussions of the Covid 19 pandemic on the water and sanitation sectors in the Arab countries.

The meeting, which was attended by the Head of the Water Authority, Eng. Mazen Ghunaim aimed to propose future programs and projects aimed to develop the Arab water security strategy, implement the plan emanating from it, to improve the Arab water situation, and to find mechanisms and means of cooperation and coordination to come up with integrated process solution to face the challenges of the water sector that are facing most of the Arab countries.

In his speech, Eng. Ghunaim stressed that the Arab world faces a range of challenges at various levels, in addition to the challenge of water scarcity, which has become a major topic at the table of decision-makers, especially with the high rates of poverty and water stress suffered by most countries and the issues of shared and cross-border water resulting from the difficult geopolitical situation of the Arab region, issues of interconnection between food security and water security, in addition to climate change, which in addition to these major dilemmas, which are all rising from the threats to Arab water security. He added that it is now certain that the new Covid 19 pandemic has added new challenges to the problems of water security and food security in the Arab region, which has implications for the water sector by taking into account the healthy dimension of water as the first weapon against the virus.

He added that the management of the challenges must be carried out with modern mechanisms, methodologies, and strategies, especially in the issue of Arab water under occupation and the difficult reality imposed by the Israeli occupation through violations and theft of common sources and waterways, which arrived with plans to join a dangerous curve not only by threatening the life and development of our peoples, but also to threaten it in the depletion of water resources and deny them the rights of the beach as well.

In the conclusion of his speech, Ghunaim stressed the importance of Arab cooperation and coordination with countries, regional and international organizations and institutions in confronting Arab water challenges during this critical phase, which is now an imposition and not an option, within the framework of unified and long-term efforts, capable of achieving the goals of sustainable development and access to Arab water security.

For his part, the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Aboul Al-Gheit, emphasized that water should not be part of Israeli hegemony, and the importance of stopping Israeli control over Palestinian water and stopping the theft of Arab water, praising the Water Authority's efforts to secure water for the Palestinian people, and praising the efforts made in preparing a report on the implications of annexation on water resources.

 Dr. Al Kaabi, the Qatari Minister of State for Energy and Chairman of the current session of the Council, stressed the country's support for Palestinian water rights, under Israeli control over Palestinian water, noting that Arab cooperation, water diplomacy, and water security are a key demand for the safe living of peoples.

The meeting came out with a range of resolutions aimed at achieving the objectives of the Arab Ministerial Council for Water, which is to develop cooperation and coordinate efforts among Arab countries to develop an Arab strategy to meet water challenges and enhance Arab water security, defend Arab water rights and coordinate positions to serve Arab interests, and develop initiatives and programs to implement the council's plan based on Arab integration and cooperation with Arab countries and organizations for water. The Arab Ministerial Meeting for Water also came out with decisions that serve the development of the Palestinian water sector and defend the water rights of the Palestinian people, as several countries expressed their desire to frame cooperation with Palestine in the water field, and many initiatives were put forward by Arab water organizations to cooperate with the Water Authority through future programs and projects.

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