"Transboundary Hydro-Governance and the MENA Region" workshop at newly established Water Diplomacy Center.
28 Feb. 2021 /// This week, the 23-25th February 2021, the newly established regional Water Diplomacy Center (WDC) at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) organized a three-day workshop focused on transboundary water governance, utilizing the latest video conference platforms as is the new normal during global COVID-19 mitigation strategies. The online workshop is one of a series of workshops designed to build knowledge and capacity for participants, as well as promote integrated management of transboundary water resources, with a specific focus on international water law and water diplomacy. The overall program is a collaboration between JUST and the University of East Anglia with generous support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, as part of several Blue Peace initiatives.
Professor Saeb Khresat, the President of JUST, opened the workshop stating the "water sector plays a large role in the sustainable growth for any country", and "this is especially important for the MENA region". The Dean of the College of Engineering and the Director of the WDC, Prof. Suhil Kiwan, also spoke about the vision of the Centre in cultivating a group of local experts in each regional country capable of handling the transboundary water governance and coordination. Prof. Kiwan highlighted the role of WDC in addressing the uncoordinated use of shared water resources, as well as the future aspirations that the WDC seeks to become a regional center for coordinating research and studies and to provide knowledge-building workshops in the field of water and diplomacy in the Middle East. The WDC aims to update the knowledge and enhance the ability of decision-makers in addressing issues related to integrated water resource management and transboundary cooperation as part of the region's commitment to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goal 6 ("Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all").
During the three-day workshop, a number of international experts, including representatives of the Secretariat of the UNECE Water Convention and UN ESCWA, as well as from IHE-Delft and the Geneva Water Hub, provided lectures and answered questions on integrated water resources management, international water law and case studies on transboundary water cooperation. Many international experts and researchers from Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, as well as Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom participated in the workshop.