The High Level Meeting was organized primarily by Global Water Partnership (GWP) in coordination with Office of the UN Secretary-Generals’ Special Envoy on Disaster Risk Reduction and Water and Government of Myanmar. The High Level meeting aims to further endorse and strengthen the role of water as main foundation in national development agenda in Myanmar. This is done by convening professionals and institutions in the region with various experience and knowledge with key water-related Ministers and members of the Water Think Tank in Myanmar in the discussion of ensuring water security and achieving sustainable development goals in the country and in South East Asia. This is to further the improvement of governance and management of water resources for water security that can lead to a sustainable and equitable development in the country and region. The Round Table Meeting was focused on five SDGs, namely SDG 5 (Gender), SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Cities), SDG 13 (Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction), SDG 17 (Partnerships).
Group Photo taken at the High Level meeting at Inya Lake
The welcome address was delivered by Deputy Union Minister U Kyaw Myo from the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Myanmar. He stressed the importance of water in the lives of the people and how water insecurity can have negative impacts that may lead eventually to crisis. Due to this, he emphasize the role of water as the “basis of all economic development activities” and the importance of understanding the “water-energy-food nexus” in order to “boost the sustainable development in Myanmar”. He concluded his speech by saying that the meeting was a positive development and expressed his gratitude to the participants. Congratulatory remarks were given by Dr. Jennifer Sara (Global Water Practice Director, World Bank Group), and by Dr. Koji Ikeuchi (Vice Minister, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan).
Four keynote addresses were delivered in the meeting. The keynote speakers were Dr. Kenzo Hiroki (Special Advisor, United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation), Dr. Khin Ni Ni Thein (Secretary of Myanmar Water Think Tank, Water Security and new Economic policy in Myanmar), Mrs. Kenza Robinson (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs), and Drs. Koos Wieriks (Strategic Advisor Water Management, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment of the Netherlands). Afterwards, each group facilitated round table discussions for SDG 5 (Gender), SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Cities), SDG 13 (Climate Change, Disaster Risk Reduction), and SDG 17 (Partnerships). Each group was tasked to discuss the recommendations and corresponding rationale in dealing with the water security and achieving the SDGs in Myanmar and South East Asia. A background paper as a result of the meeting can be found in GWP website to summarize the proceedings. Dr. Akiyuki Kawasaki and Dr. Ralph Allen Acierto participated in the round table discussion as representatives of University of Tokyo and part of SATREPs project. Dr. Kawasaki was designated on SDG 11- Cities, while Dr. Acierto was assigned to SDG 13 Climate Change and DRR. Lastly, Dr. Toshio Koike led and summarized the discussion on the SDG 13 table tackling Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction. The High Level meeting paves the road in mainstreaming the importance of dealing with water security issues and achieving SDGs in the national development agenda of the new administration in Myanmar.
The background paper on the meeting can be accessed to this link below:
Accessed on 31May2016