On 23 March, the Government of Sweden and the Federal Republic of Somalia co-organized a side event with Hub-partners, SIWI and SIPRI, for the UN 2023 Water Conference titled “Commitments to Accelerate Cooperation on Water, Environment, Climate, and Peace” at the UN Headquarters.
Torgny Holmgren, Executive Director, SIWI, opened the event with welcome remarks and an introduction on SIWI’s Experience Exchange methodology from the Shared Waters Partnership (SWP) Programme and SIPRI’s Environmental of Peace Report.
Daniel Westlén, Vice-Minister for Climate and Environment, Sweden, provided introductory remarks by addressing the importance of cooperation as a tool to support peacebuilding and stability, and the role of water as an critical component of global peace and security. Mr. Westlén concluded by highlighting the importance of field-based research and understanding of climate data in order to act wisely, and that the Hub can contribute with important knowledge in this context.
Hussein Yusuf Ali, Director of Policy and Planning, Executive Secretary of Transboundary Water Diplomacy Committee, Somalia outlined the regional challenges of climate change and food insecurity that create further risks. Mr. Ali also pointed to the regional opportunities of transboundary water cooperation between Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia in order to effectively address these risks.
The purpose of the event was to jointly explore how water cooperation can address climate-related security risks, focusing on more effective and relevant approaches. Member states affected by water scarcity and civil society representatives discussed barriers to forming commitments to transboundary cooperation for peace and regional stability.
The side event built on the High-Level Panel on Climate and Peace organized during the 2022 World Water Week in Stockholm. A similar High-Level Panel is planned to be held at the 2023 World Water Week in August to further discuss Member State commitments to cooperation over shared water resources across boundaries and sectors.
To see complete streaming of the side event, click here.