Aqeel: The achievement of the Sixteenth Goal on Peace is closely linked to the Sixth Goal
Noureddine: Poor water distribution is the main cause of any water conflict
Salman: A distinction must be made between the terms “international river basins” and “transboundary rivers”
Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a workshop on the sixth goal of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals; Related to "Ensure the availability of water and sanitation services for all and manage them sustainably. The symposium focused on the most prominent challenges facing the achievement of this goal at the regional and international level, with the wide participation of a number of experts from Arab and African countries, who are specialized in water affairs.
The workshop was moderated by a. Ayman Aqil, President of Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights, who emphasized the link between the sixth goal of the sustainable development goals related to water, and the sixteenth goal related to peace, stressing that the review of the sixth goal may be a cause of conflicts and wars. As happened in the case of the Senegal River, and the case of the Juba and Shabelle rivers between Somalia and Djibouti, as well as the internal problems between the different groups, and indicated that the water diplomacy should be activated until all these conflicts stop.
For his part, A. Dr. Nader Nour El-Din, professor of land and water at Cairo University and a former advisor to the Minister of Supply, said that the reason for the emergence of conflicts over water in Africa is due to the poor distribution that appears in the fact that about 51% of water is enjoyed by only Central African countries, 23% in West Africa, and 12.51 TP1T in South Africa; Which will be a future conflict zone, 4.7% of water in East Africa, 2.9% of water in North Africa. Noureddine added that not including all water sources such as rain and underground water and being satisfied with water coming from rivers is something that cannot be neglected during any diplomatic negotiations between countries in the future, to achieve a fair distribution of water resources between them.
Muhammad Salman Taya, a professor of political science at Cairo University and an expert in water affairs, touched in his speech on the reality of common international waters and water security within the national security matrix. The political science professor pointed out that any negotiations on common international waters should use the term “international river basins” and not “transboundary rivers,” because it is a “malicious” term that is being exploited by countries at the expense of others. Salman added that the number of countries involved in the international river basins is about 154 countries, ie 90% of the world’s population live in common basins, which enhances water conflicts between countries.
A participant from Morocco a. Khaled Bodley, North Africa Coordinator at the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, said that urban transformation and population growth have contributed to an increase in the demand for water. He stressed that we must strive to achieve safe and healthy drinking water for all African people before 2030, and improve water quality by reducing pollution and waste, and reducing the proportion of untreated water by half.. Pointing out the need to involve civil society organizations and work to use governance within the framework of achieving the sixth goal.
While Mr. Nagy Moulay Lahcen, President of the Independent Network for Human Rights in North Africa, Morocco, on the human rights dimension of water, considering that the right to water is a collective right that must be provided to all, stressing the need to focus on it through African human rights mechanisms, such as the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights and the Forum African Human Rights Council, so that this issue is given great importance and that everyone benefits and no one is harmed.
It is worth noting that the Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights assumed the duties of the North African region coordinator in the group of major non-governmental organizations in Africa of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, as well as being Egypt's representative in the General Assembly of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, and the coordinator of the national chapter For her, and also for being an observer of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights.