Facing 21st Century Challenges on Water Security and Peace

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

THE HAGUE, 6 November – An international conference on Water Security and Peace will be held at the Peace Palace in The Hague on 14 and 15 November. The availability of water resources determines the well-being, prosperity and stability of societies worldwide. As freshwater becomes more scarce and is often unevenly distributed, tensions over its use are manifested in every-day life.

Stakeholders have different and sometimes conflicting claims over water. If opportunities are created for cooperation, then conflicting claims from upstream and downstream users can be adequately addressed. A better understanding of the underlying process of water cooperation is required. This includes joint fact-finding, trust building, conflict prevention and resolution, and pursuits of social justice.

This conference creates opportunities for dialogue, knowledge exchange and partnership building. Participants will explore the role of negotiation and arbitration in water disputes, highlighting specific cases in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, among others. The conference will also focus on the need to optimize present arrangements and particularly the need for additional diplomatic tools to remove political bottlenecks and to address recurring conflicts.

The conference is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands and the City of The Hague and is organized by the Water Diplomacy Consortium, a knowledge hub for water diplomacy, governance and law that contributes to conflict prevention and conflict resolution related to intrastate and transboundary water management.

The conference will be structured along three working groups:

Working Group 1 will take stock of legal, institutional and diplomatic methods that are available for water conflict prevention and resolution as well as the peaceful management of shared water resources; how are these being applied; if their current application is not effective, in what ways they can and should be improved? Illustrative cases include the Mekong region and the Middle East multilateral negotiations on water resources.

Working Group 2 will address solutions to effectively align stakeholders, namely policy makers and politicians, negotiation experts and systems experts. Illustrative cases include the food and energy nexus in the Aral Sea region and the Eastern Nile in Africa.

Working Group 3 will discuss the importance of connecting civil society with policy makers through multilevel diplomacy. Questions will focus on which tools and instruments create effective linkages and why is cooperation so difficult. The experiences of government, international NGOs, diplomats, and international financing organizations in various river basins will be the focus.

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Open to members of the press:

  • 14 November 09:00-12:30 Opening session
  • 15 November 13:30-15:30 Closing session

N.B. All working group sessions are closed to the press. The conference will be held in English.

PRESS REGISTRATION
Registration deadline COB 12 November 2013. Click here.

PRESS CONTACT
Ms. Alida Pham, a.pham@unesco-ihe.org
Tel.: +316-12974079

PRESS KIT 
Download here www.TheHagueInstitute.org/WDC-Conference

MORE INFO
www.waterdiplomacyconsortium.org