Asian Ambassadors visit GWP Secretariat

Posted: 2010-03-18

Ambassadors from ten Asian Embassies in Stockholm visited the GWPO offices on 18 March at the invitation by the Executive Secretary, to talk about water and GWP’s work in their respective countries and regions.

Meeting with the Stockholm-based Ambassadors is another step towards forging wider social links, and a firm resolve to strengthen water security in countries where the network is active. The Asian Ambassadors event was preceded by similar meetings last year with the African and Latin American Ambassadors.

Ambassadors and representatives from the following countries participated: Australia, the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Japan, Korean Republic, Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Republic of Philippines, Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Dr Grobicki welcomed the distinguished guests and introduced the GWP network that links over more than 2000 partners in 13 regions worldwide. GWP Senior Network Officer Dr Mercy Dikito-Wachtmeister held a presentation about the work of GWP on a regional, national and sub-nationallevel in South Asia and Southeast Asia, while Senior Network Officer Dr Björn Guterstam presented the work of GWP in China including its four provincial water partnerships.

The presentations generated much interest among the participants who raised questions around a number of issues: “What is GWP doing on climate change?”, “What’s the role of GWP in relation to SIWI and the World Water Week?” - an event that many Ambassadors were familiar with and had participated in. Several Ambassadors also talked about their respective countries´ initiatives on water issues.

The Ambassadors were impressed with the world wide expansion of the GWP network and GWP’s passion for improving the management of water: “Coming from a typhoon touched country, it’s a fact of life that we need to manage water better”, one Ambassador stated. Land-use issues and the links between urbanisation and floods were also discussed. “This information must get into the public’s eye, it’s about water!” another said.

It was concluded that sharing information is an essential element in the work of building awareness around water issues. Dr Grobicki expressed in her closing remark the hope the Ambassadors will take the information about GWP forward to their countries’ policy makers and governments. “To reach outside the water box and facilitate better water management across society, we need your help,” she said.

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