22 Arab countries pledge strong support for regional water security - GulfToday

22 Arab countries pledge strong support for regional water security


The 5th Arab Water Forum opens in Dubai on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter, Gulf Today

The 5th Arab Water Forum (AWF) took off on Tuesday in Dubai, with more than 600 delegates, participants from 22 Arab countries pledging their strong commitment to water security for peace and sustainable development in the Arab World.

 The three-day conference focusses on water scarcity in the Arab World, depleting water resources and ways and means to generate water from sustainable sources, in line with the conference theme – Arab Water Security for Peace and Sustainable Development.

Held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure and supported by the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of Egypt (MWRI), in cooperation with national, regional and international partners, the three-day triennial conference is hosting 25 Government Ministers and Undersecretaries representing 22 Arab countries, high government officials, businessmen, public and private sector organisation where more than 40 experts discussing water scarcity and sustainable development across the region.

Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, led the dignitaries in officially inaugurating the 5th Arab Water Forum, flanked by  Prof. Mahmoud Abu Zeid, President of the Arab Water Council;  Mohamed Adel Atty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation (MWRI), Egypt;  Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senegal;  Loïc Fauchon, President of the World Water Council (WWC) and  Dr. Ahmed Abul Gheit, Secretary-General, League of Arab States (LAS).

“The Arab Water Forum is a leading platform for cooperation and collaboration to support the water sector and strengthen efforts to address challenges related to water scarcity. Water is an essential pillar of sustainability, which makes it a strategic priority of the UAE,” Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said in his keynote speech.

“The forum constitutes a leading platform for cooperation and collaboration to support the water sector, and to accelerate efforts to address the challenges related to it, as it is of vital importance to sustainable development, and a factor central to achieving the social, economic and environmental goals and objectives associated with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.”

The Minister pointed out that this forum is gaining a special status for the UAE, as it coincides with the announcement of the ‘Projects of the 50’ (50th Anniversary of the formation of the UAE Federation) package and ahead of the launch of Expo 2020 – a mega global event – starting next month.

Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei added: “The water-related challenges will become more tough in light of the growing demand for water and the scarcity of resources, especially in our Arab region in the coming years. The worsening global climate change and the increase in future demand for water have forced us to undertake more initiatives, dialogue, reflection and joint work to build future capabilities to meet these challenges and overcome. From the Arab Water Forum platform, we reaffirm our strong commitment to continue our efforts to enhance regional and international cooperation in water-related activities and programmes.”

Pointing out that the UAE has made qualitative contributions in the field of international cooperation and providing development assistance related to water and sanitation to countries in need, the Minister said, the UAE has disbursed nearly Dh3 billion in aid from 2015 to 2020.

 He announced that the UAE is developing three new water desalination projects in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Umm Al uwain with combined capacity of 420 million imperial gallons of water per day that will support the sustainability of the water sector in the UAE. These will raise the total installed capacity to 1,590 million imperial gallons per day when completed by 2023.

The 5th Arab Water Forum was graced by the participation of a number Ministers, Under-Secretaries and high officials with HE Eng. Suhail Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, leading the list of the dignitaries that include Abdulrahman Al Fadley, Ministry of Water, Environment and Agriculture, Saudi Arabia, Mohamed Abdel Aty, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Egypt, Eng. Wael Bin Nasser Al Mubarak, Minister of Electricity and Water Affairs, Bahrain, Ahmed bin Abdullah al Shuhi, Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources, Oman, Dr Khaled Al Fadel, Ministry of Electricity and Water, Kuwait, Eng. Raed Abu Soud, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, Jordan, Ali Hammam, Ministry of Water Resources, Algeria, Aziz Rebbah, Ministry of Energy, Mines and Environment, Morocco, Samir Taieb, Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, Tunisia, Mr. Loic Fauchon, President, World Water Council (WWC), Prof. Mahmoud Abu-Zeid, President, Arab Water Council (AWC), Secretary General League of Arab States (LAS), among other senior officials.

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