Water as a tool for peace and sustainable development

25 March 2019 - 12:30 - 14:00
Shada Islam

This event is part of our Development Policy Forum (DPF), which brings together a number of important development actors, including the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the United Nations and the World Bank. Reflecting the growing role of the private sector in development, the DPF has now welcomed Coca-Cola and Eni to the forum. The DPF contributes to the global and European conversation on inclusive development. Through its activities and publications, the DPF reflects the rapidly-changing global debate on growth and development and seeks to encourage a multi-stakeholdered, fresh, up-to-date thinking on the multiple challenges facing the development community.

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PHOTO CREDIT: lensnmatter/Flickr


Welcome and registration of participants


The ripple effect: water as a tool for peace and sustainable development

Rivers and lakes are natural borders, but also generators of friction. Above all, they are vital resources at the core of sustainable development, a fact highlighted by Agenda 2030. Although too often a cause of conflict, both the UN and the EU have recognised that water can be a tool for peace and cross-border cooperation. Promising to enhance its diplomatic engagement on water, the EU last November warned against “the use of water as a weapon of war” and the link between global water-related risks and migration. Many countries have seen the value of transboundary water cooperation: the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan is often cited as an example of how resources can be used to prevent conflict, and the Mekong and Danube river authorities have been meeting within the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) framework to share best practices. However water competition is worsening tensions in the Middle East, while Ethiopia’s construction of Africa's largest dam on the Nile continues to cause acrimony with its neighbours, particularly Egypt.

•    Which are the best examples of countries using water as a tool of peace instead of as a weapon of war?
•    There are many existing examples of transboundary water cooperation: what works and what doesn’t?
•    Is the EU practicing what it preaches on water diplomacy both within and outside of the Union? 

Moderated by:
Shada Islam,
Director for Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe


End of debate

Shada Islam
Director for Europe & Geopolitics
Shada Islam is responsible for policy oversight of Friends of Europe’s initiatives, activities and publications. She has special responsibility for issues related to the Future of Europe, Migration, the Asia Programme and the Development Policy Forum. Shada is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe (Natolin) where she teaches Asia-Europe relations and has been selected as a fellow by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). She has been named as one of twenty most influential women in Brussels by Politico. Shada is the former Europe correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review and has previously worked on Asian and Migration issues at the European Policy Centre. She is one of the authors of Friends of Europe’s much-read “Frankly Speaking” commentary and is sought after as a speaker, commentator, columnist and moderator at high-level European and global events. Shada also continues to write on EU foreign and security policy, EU-Asia relations and trade and development issues for leading Asian, European and international publications and academic journals.
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This event is exclusively for Friends of Europe’s members, EU institution representatives and media.

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