Press release

27 Jun 2019

Beirut, Lebanon

ESCWA 13th session of the Committee on Water Resources kicks off


Beirut, 27 June 2019-Water plays a key role in fighting poverty, ensuring food security, education, health services, and in ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns. Water scarcity prevailing in the Arab region is associated with institutional, technical, behavioral, and political challenges that hinder sustainable management of water resources, stressed the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development Policies of ESCWA, Ms. Roula Majdalani, in her opening remarks at the 2-day 13th session of the Committee on Water Resources of ESCWA that kicked off today.
In the statement she delivered on behalf of ESCWA Executive Secretary, Majdalani highlighted what is mostly impeding a sustainable management of water resources in the Arab world: depletion of renewable water; dependence of most Arab countries on shared water resources that originate mostly from outside the region; reliance on seawater desalination to secure more than 75 percent of the water resources of the Arab Gulf countries which consumes heavy energy and leads to high environmental footprint.
In addition, Majdalani underscored that sewage treatment is still below the required level; water supply and delivery networks are eroded due to poor maintenance and investments, not to mention the worsening wars and conflicts; and the significant impact of climate change on the Arab region.
The Committee on Water Resources focuses in this 13th session on the progress made in integrating sustainable water-related development goals into national development plans; the correlation between energy, water and food security (known as water-energy-food nexus); the impact of climate change on water resources and other productive sectors such as agriculture, as well as enhancing regional cooperation, coordination and communication with and among Member States to achieve a sustainable development that leaves no one behind.
The 2-day session will also review the proposed 2020 programme for integrated natural resources management for sustainable development.
Oman assumed chairmanship of the 13th session after Sudan. Each of Sudan and Palestine took on the role of vice-chairmen and Qatar the role of rapporteur. Participants include representatives from member states, international and regional organizations and concerned civil society organizations.

For more information:
-Nabil Abu-Dargham, Head, ESCWA Communication and Information Unit,
Ms Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879;
Ms Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +9611978815,
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