From 22 to 27 March 2015, the Jordanian capital, Amman, hosted governmental meetings organized by ESCWA. These events, which were attended by high-level figures and experts in the areas of energy, water and food security, included the 10th session of the ESCWA Committee on Energy, an expert group meeting on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus in the Arab Region, and the 11th session of the ESCWA Committee on Water Resources.
Committee on Energy
The 10th session of the ESCWA Committee on Energy convened on 22 and 23 March, and discussed issues related to sustainable energy in the Arab region, namely energy security and regional integration; technology adaptation policy and potential for local manufacturing of adequate renewable energy equipment; and the implementation of the United Nations Decade on Sustainable Energy for All in the Arab region, with a focus on the post-2015 development agenda from the perspective of the Arab region and the energy-water-food nexus.
Delivering the statement of ESCWA, Director of ESCWA Sustainable Development and Policies Division Roula Majdalani said the recent fluctuations in the energy sector globally, and their regional repercussions, call for a review of energy policies and the management of the sector in a sustainable manner that guarantees its security. She also underlined the necessity of continuing the existing partnership between ESCWA, regional and international organizations, especially the League of Arab States (LAS), the Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), to serve the Arab region in relevant fields.
Back-to-back with the 10th session of the Committee on Energy, an expert group meeting on the Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus in the Arab Region was held on 24-25 March. . The meeting aimed to build understanding of the overall scope of the water, energy and food security nexus for advancing sustainable development; examine the core elements of the water, energy food security nexus and related components in view of framing the nexus within the context of the Arab region; review case studies and examples of applying a nexus conceptual approach in strategic areas of concern for the Arab region; discuss the benefits, opportunities and challenges of adopting a nexus approach for strengthening integrated natural resource management within the context of institutional and policy frameworks existing in the Arab region; and exchange information on regional initiatives, projects and partnerships supporting Arab countries on the water, energy and food nexus.
Committee on Water Resources
The 11th session of the ESCWA Committee on Water Resources held on 26 and 27 March under the theme “Water and Sustainable Development”, sought to offer an intergovernmental forum to discuss the challenges and obstacles facing the region in the area of integrated water resources management; regional approaches for addressing water supply and sanitation; climate change and shared water resources management; the water-energy-food nexus; and preparations for the post-2015 development agenda.
The statement of ESCWA, delivered by Majdalani, highlighted the close connection between the water sector and sustainable development, since water generally affects the diverse social and economic sectors and is in turn affected by these same sectors. Given that the Arab region in general, and ESCWA region particularly, suffers from the scarcity of water resources, then water scarcity, driven by the high population increase in the region, represents a priority that requires unprecedented and unconventional methods to deal with it.