Members of Parliament from the Middle East, including Israel and Palestine, will take part in a round-table event next week to seek solutions to the critical issue of Middle East water resources.
The MPs will explore scientific and technological solutions to a range of complex questions including water scarcity, fair distribution, drought, and managing demand in the face of sudden surges caused by refugee flows.
The event in Geneva from 31 May to 2 June aims to produce a roadmap for a new co-operative project involving scientific research teams to deal with the water issue, as well as creating a space for science-led discussion and the exchange of expertise within the region.
The round-table meeting comes at a time when there are no active peace talks involving Israel and Palestine. It is part of a series of events being organized by IPU through its Committee on Middle East Questions, to highlight the role of science and technology in fostering projects which help create an environment conducive to building peace.
Scientists and experts will set out ways technology can be used to meet the region’s water challenges. Key themes include investing in water cooperation opportunities, the role of science and technology in turning elements of conflict into factors of co-existence, regional experiences from an entrepreneurial perspective, and bringing science to the people.
Development organization Waterlex, which specializes in water policy and governance, will set out key aspects of different models and initiatives and stress the importance of dialogue.
Scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) will set out the enormous potential of science to drive peaceful relations among cultures and nations and to solve major challenges. Technology specialists Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), a Jordan-based laboratory which brings together scientists from across the region, will focus on how science can meet essential needs and foster cooperation for the greater good.
IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong said: “This event marks an important milestone in IPU’s long-standing commitment to build trust, dialogue and peace in the Middle East. Science provides a neutral umbrella for the critical issue of water to be addressed. We are thrilled to welcome these delegates to Geneva to spearhead work in this field and fast-track the search for science-led solutions.”
IPU’s Committee on Middle East Questions works to encourage dialogue and strengthen ties in the region. It believes the global parliamentary community should invest in establishing projects of peace that can transform potential elements of conflict - such as water, food and power - into factors of co-existence, helping create an atmosphere that is conducive to peaceful political solutions.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) is the global organization of national parliaments. It works to safeguard peace and drives positive democratic change through political dialogue and concrete action.