“Informing the SDGs through the Arab MDG+ Initiative”

This article is part of a wider coverage of the “MENA Focus” events, a set of four regional sessions dedicated to the Middle East & North Africa, officially launched at the Stockholm World Water Week 2016, alongside the Regional Days for Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med) had been selected and serves as the overall coordinator for these “MENA Focus” events. The sessions were organized in partnership with a number of international regional institutions and organisations. “Informing the SDGs through the Arab MDG+ Initiative” was the third out of the four sessions, held on the 31st of August.

This session was convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN ESCWA), the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), the League of Arab States (LAS), and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

It consisted of two parts, one on the Arab Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development, and one on lessons learned from the MDG+ Initiative.

The first part focused on the water-related SDGs in the Arab Region. Mr. Hammou Lamrani, Advisor, at the Department of Environment, Housing, Water Resources and Sustainable Development, League of Arab States, presented the Arab Ministerial Water Council’s Water Security Strategy for Sustainable Development (2010-2030). H.E. Mr. Mazen Ghoneim, Minister, Palestinian Water Authority, spoke about the human right to Water and Sanitation based on his country’s experience. Dr. Anders Jägerskog, Counselor, at Sida, presented the Swedish Support for Arab Cooperation on Water and the SDGs.

The second part of the session focused on the Region’s MDG+ Initiative. Eng. Khaldoun Khashman, Secretary General at the Arab Countries Water Utilities Association (ACWUA), presented the origins of the MDG+ Initiative. Ms. Carol Chouchani Cherfane, Chief, Water Resources Section, Sustainable Development Policies Division, Lebanon, UN-ESCWA, gave a presentation on how the Indicators and Findings of the MDG+ Initiative can inform the SDGs. Dr. Jarrah Al-Zubi, Technical Advisor, MDG+ Unit, ACWUA, presented the Institutional Arrangements for Informing SDG Implementation. Finally, Dr. Ahmed Moawad, Vice Chairman, Holding Company for Water and Wastewater, Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Egypt, presented the key Performance Indicators for Monitoring Water Services and the MDG+ Initiative Findings for Egypt.