Tehran hosted 13th Governing Board Meeting of RCUWM at the ministerial level
The 13th Governing Board Ministerial Meeting (GBM-13) of the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management (RCUWM) under the auspices of UNESCO was held in Tehran, Iran, on 23 February 2023. So far, 12 GB meetings have been conducted by the Centre in Tehran, Muscat and Dushanbe.
RCUWM is guided and overseen by its Governing Board (GB) at the highest level according to the agreement approved by the General Conference of UNESCO. The GB is the most important decision-making constituent of the Centre at the highest level, which takes part in ordinary sessions at regular intervals.
Ways and means of promoting and expanding mutual and multi-lateral cooperation among RCUWM member states and organizations were thoroughly discussed in the GBM-13. Moreover, the GB member states discussed eight project proposals presented during the GBM 2023 for regional cooperation and the way forward in promoting GB members’ contributions.
The GB members are water-related ministers from 18 counties including Iran (as the chair), Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Germany, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan and representatives of several relevant international organizations including UNESCO, several UN agencies, development banks, and professional entities as for the period of 2019-2024. In the GBM-13, the Minister of Water Resources (Iraq) and Minister of Energy and Water Resources (Tajikistan) attended in person and the Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Co-operatives (Bangladesh) and Mr. Abou Amani (secretary of UNESCO-IHP and director of water sciences division at UNESCO-HQ) joined the meeting online and gave their speeches.
H.E. Mr. Mehrabian (chairman of the GBM-13 and Minister of Energy of Iran) mentioned that the Centre has so far benefited from its GB member states and organizations and has had fruitful cooperation with them in the region. H.E. continued by briefly introducing regional water challenges which can be addressed by the capacity of GB member states.
Undoubtedly, the cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the RCUWM GB member states and organizations which have been initiated since its establishment (Feb. 2002) and has continued up to now in the framework of its missions and objectives, can be a successful model for the development and promotion of cooperation in the field of water and relevant components. This cooperation is about to be promoted for the future and will provide an appropriate base to exchange experiences on water challenges like flash floods, prolonged droughts, and the use of non-conventional water resources at the regional scale, H.E. stated.
H.E. continued that the present and future challenges in water management in different aspects could be addressed by balancing water supply and demand as well as considering environmental issues which will be resulted in reaching the social justice and economic development. Having invited GB member states and organizations to cooperate in and contribute to the Centre’s activities, H.E. finally emphasized that each GB member states introduces a focal person in order to follow up the minutes of this meeting and to report the result in the 14th board meeting in 2024.
Also, Mr. Hajrasouliha, the RCUWM Director and the Advisor to the Minister of Energy announced Iran’s readiness to help the countries in the region in adapting to the climate and manage water challenges through regional cooperation by utilizing the capacity of GB member states.
Worth mentioning that RCUWM contributes to water-related projects in line with implementing the priority areas of the strategic plan of the ninth phase of UNESCO-IHP (2022-2029) by capacity building, knowledge sharing and research at international and regional levels.
Major side events including bilateral and multi-lateral negotiations among present ministers and high-rank authorities as well as visiting the Water Exhibition have been considered in the programme