Euro-Mediterranean Information System on know-how in the Water sector
International portal

Event 2nd Edition of the Conference “Hydrodiplomacy and climate change for peace in the Middle East: Case of the Jordan River Basin”


Hydrodiplomacy and Climate Change for Peace in the Middle East: Case of Jordan River Basin

Conference at the Senate, Paris, 13 December 2016

Salles Monnerville & Vaugirard


The 2nd Edition of the Conference “Hydrodiplomacy and climate change for peace in the Middle East: Case of the Jordan River Basin”, will be held on the 13th of December 2016 at the French Senate. It aims to explore the interest of advocating the concept of Hydrodiplomacy on the Jordan Basin, to ensure abundant water of good quality to future generations in the Middle East and foster a culture of water for peace in this region.

The Conference will focus on the following main themes:


  •  Hydrodiplomacy of Jordan for Security of Future Generations
  •  Hydrodiplomacy for Equitable Water sharing of Jordan River Basin: Integrated Management within UN Legal Framework
  •  Hydrodiplomacy and Innovative Approaches: Which Technological and Financial Tools?


This conference follows the successful organization of the 1st Edition focused on the case of “Orontes River Basin” (1st December 2015, French Senate – Paris) during which a publication issued by UNESCO  on “Science diplomacy and trans-boundary water management. The Orontes River casewas also successfully launched. 






Opening speech







-          Mr. Olivier Cadic, French Senator representing the French citizens abroad

-          Mr. Loïc Fauchon,  Honorary president of World Water Council and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Marseille Water Supply Group (SEM)

-          Mrs. Sophie Auconie, Governor of the Water World Council

-          Mr. Arthur Nazarian, Minister of Energy and Water – Lebanon, represented by M. Fadi Comair, Director General of Hydraulic and Electric Resources


14 :30-15 :00      

Roundtable of opening : The active forces of the Mediterranean Dialogue:

Joint action for Peace (30min)


Ms. Marie-France CHATIN


-          Mr. Jean-Louis Guigou, President of IPEMED

-    Mr. Miguel Garcia-herraiz, Deputy Secretary General responsible for Water and Environment, Union for Mediterranean

-          Prof. Michael Scoullos, President of GWP Med





Session 1 - Hydro-diplomacy in the Jordan River for the Security of Future Generations


Taking into consideration that climate change has led to the social and environmental instability of South-Eastern Mediterranean countries characterized, on the one hand by water and energy stress and food problems, and on the other hand by a very strong displacement of population and a migration from south-east to the north resulting in an increasing number of conflicts between the prompt, it is therefore necessary to launch a dialog on the applicability of the "Pact of Paris" in relation to the specificities of the countries concerned by the transboundary basins.

Despite the fact that COP 21 primarily focused on energy related issues, the commitments of non-governmental organisations have dealt with the more general framework of the "Water-Energy-Food Nexus". It is in this spirit that the next conference of the parties conducted their work at COP 22 in Marrakech. It is to be noted that in a world where the population is growing quickly, issues related to food and the evolution of food consumption will inevitably have a significant impact on the management of natural resources and climate change.

In addition, and in light of the complex challenges of sustainable development in the Mediterranean region and the major challenges facing the Middle East region, it is important to launch the Mediterranean Sustainable Development Observatory (OMDD) in order to anticipate and assess the implementation of national plans and regional programs proposing solutions related to water, to the development and diffusion of renewable energy and to food security.


This essential and beneficial initiative for securing the well-being of future generations should gather a group of experts and a Strategic Council to guide the OMDD towards implementing the recommendations of COP 21 and 22.





(10 min)

Mr.Brice Lalonde, President of the Water Academy
Henri Tandonnet, Senator



Discussed subjects 

  • Hydrodiplomacy Challenges: Impact of conflict  and climate change: (Mr. Fadi Comair, Honorary President of MENBO) 7min
  • Dialogue for equitable sharing and reasonable use: win-win process (Mr. Franck Galland, Mr. Pierre Berthelot) 12 min
  • Water Management in the Jordan Basin: Inherent Conflicts Between Sovereignty and International Law.(Prof. David Eaton, UT Austin) 7min 
  • Committee on Water and Human Settlements, UNESCO-IHP: Experience for Management of Water Security(W-Smart), (Mr. Bruno Nguyen, UNESCO IHP, W-Smart) 7min
  • East-Mediterranean Observatory on Sustainable Development: Shared Eco-Risk Assessment Platform (Mr. Ilan Juran,, NYU,UNESCO-IHP) 7min










Session 2 –Hydrodiplomacy for Equitable Water sharing of Jordan River Basin :Integrated Management within a UN Legal Framework


            Formulating negotiation strategies on international watercourses based on IWRM is an opportunity for the development of a transboundary basin to handle multiple uses of water, avoiding potential conflicts between riparian countries. The countries bordering the Jordan River Basin should therefore rely on regional cooperation (bilateral or multilateral treaties) to ensure their food security needs and promote the development of an economic policy while preserving the international basin’s ecosystems. This management approach, which proposes to link water to the economic policy of the international basin aims to find solutions to achieve an agreement based on a fair and reasonable sharing of the resource.

International bodies such as the UN, the European Union and the UfM have already undertaken in the Middle East several attempts to guide nations towards the concept of cooperation to deal with the lack of water in their country and this is based on the principles of the UNECE or the United Nations 1997 Convention on International watercourses and the Water Framework Directive of the EU. Technical and economic parameters related to resource management are planned as follows: the volume of water used relatively to the quantity available, the quality of water resources, financial income, preservation of the river’s ecosystems, treatment and reuse of wastewater.

As part of the negotiation process on the Jordan Basin, it is important to motivate the most disadvantaged countries to work to benefit from regional cooperation and take advantage of the socio-economic plans that are conducted at the regional level by the United Nations and the European Union to safeguard their food security. Jordan is trying to develop with Palestine the project "Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal (RSDSC)" which foresees the mobilization of more than one billion cubic meters of non-conventional water to meet the needs. This project has been estimated at 10 billion US dollars by the World Bank and brings together all the riparian countries except Syria and Lebanon that expressed its intention to join the dialogue on this project.




Mr. Jean-Francois Donzier, Secretary General of INBO, Director General of OIEau

Mr. Jean-Marie Bockel , Senator, Former Minister 

Discussed Subjects

  • UN Legislative Instruments (UN 1997 Convention, UNECE Convention 1992) for the equitable sharing and reasonable use of Jordan river Basin (Mr. Jean-Louis Oliver, S.G Academy of Water and Ms. Chantal Demilecamps, Secretariat of UNECE Convention) 12 min
  • Guidelines for transboundary basins Management:

-          Lessons learned and good practices for Integrated Management (UNECE, INBO), (Mr. Pierre Roussel, OIEau)7min 

  • Ethics within the Context of Transboundary Water Sharing (Mr. Herve Lainé, President of Academy of Ethics) 7min





Coffee Break



Session 3 – Hydrodiplomacy and Innovative Approaches : Which Technological and Financial Tools?



The equitable sharing of water resources in the Middle East must become a global objective to meet current needs of the society and prepare to satisfy the needs of future generations. Hydro-diplomacy is a purely technical (first priority) and policy-related (second priority) approach that could facilitate the implementation of integrated water resources management at the hydro-geographic basin, called "new water mass", which includes both conventional and non-conventional waters.

Middle East countries should use Hydrodiplomacy in order to manage their conflicts on a permanent basis. For all these countries, the challenge is to use the strategy of dialogue and regional cooperation as an opportunity to achieve together coordinated progress in the areas of human and economic development, water resource protection and cultural advancement. The consolidation of a water culture for peace is essential for the countries bordering the Jordan Basin.

Financing and consideration of ethical values at the country level, as well as at the population level, is an essential and transverse component of sustainable development, especially in fighting against climate change and adapting to its consequences. Public policies will not take full effect if they are defined and conducted with complacency, but with transparency and sincerity, especially as regards coherence between the resources actually implemented by the Parties and targets set in the Paris Declaration.

It is also essential that a civic ethic is promoted to face climate change: it is a profound reform of individual and collective behavior leading everyone to be aware of their responsibilities and to adopt responsible behavior in their lifestyles.



1st Roundtable:         Technological Tools Developed for Jordan River Basin




Prof. Michael Scoullos, President of GWP Med

Ms. Elisabeth Lamure, Senator



Discussed subjects




2nd Roundtable                          





Discussed subjects





  • Application of ICT for the management of the Jordan Basin (Prof. Daene McKinney, University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Georges Comair, World Bank) 12 min
  • Water accounting for Jordan River Basin Management (Mr. Gonzalo Espinoza, UNESCO IHE) 7min


Launch of Regional Cooperation (30min)



M. Shaddad Attili, Palestinian Minister, Responsible for Negotiation

Ms. Elisabeth Lamure, Senator, President of the State Aviation Authority


  • Initiative for Peace for the Jordan River: A Regional Master Plan for the Sustainable Development within the Jordan River Basin (Mr. Munqeth Mehyar, Director of  EcoPeace in Jordan) 12min
  • Innovative Financing Mechanisms for Climate Change Adaptation (Ms. Kelly ROBIN, IPEMED) 10min
  • The Pact of Paris, applicability on Jordan River Basin (Mr. Eric Tardieu, OIEau) 7min


Answers to written questions compiled by the secretariat (15 mn)


18:15–            Closing Statement and Recommendation :

-          M. Jean Launay, President of the French Partnership for Water

-          H.E Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain


Thanking by Mr. Olivier Cadic, Senator representing the French citizens abroad and Mr. Fadi Comair, Honorary President of MENBO. 


Compte–rendu du Colloque du Sénat Hydrodiplomate du Bassin du Jourdain


Comme suite au colloque qui s’est tenu au sénat, le premier décembre 2015, autour de la thématique :

« Hydrodiplomatie et changement climatique pour la Paix au Proche -Orient sur le fleuve de L’Oronte ».

Ce colloque avait comme objectif d’examiner les problèmes qui se posent pour le bassin du Jourdain, il a été organisé en 4 sessions :

- Une table ronde qui a traité des forces actives du dialogue méditerranéen « une action concertée pour la paix.

- L’Hydrodiplomatie du Jourdain pour une sécurisation des générations futures.

- L’Hydrodiplomatie pour un partage équitable de l’eau du Jourdain une gestion intégrée dans un cadre législatif onusien.

- Hydrodiplomatie et approches innovantes quelles outils technologiques et financiers ?

- L’essentiel des présentations et débats de cette rencontre se résume comme suit :

- L’eau, bien économique et sociale, est la principale ressource renouvelable sur la terre et elle est le fondement même de la survie et de la continuité de l’homme.

- L’enjeu de l’eau est une préoccupation majeure pour tous les gouvernements du Proche et Moyen-Orient.

- L’eau en particulier dans la région, a une dimension transfrontalière et interétatique, dont le partage peut provoquer ou alimenter des conflits et accroitre les tensions géopolitiques de la région.

- Les décideurs politiques et experts devraient réfléchir à la façon d’assurer l’approvisionnement en eau et d’éloigner le spectre de la guerre de l’eau en adoptant une politique participative de gestion de l’eau car il faut répondre à une demande qui est croissante.

- La question des ressources en eau dans le bassin du Jourdain est une préoccupation continue, d’autant plus qu’elle est intimement liée à celle des frontières.

- L’hydrodiplomatie permet de rassembler au lieu de diviser et elle est l’art de construire la paix autour de cette ressource vitale en se basant sur les ossatures légales des Nations Unies tels que la convention de 1997 et de 1992 pour le partage équitable et l’utilisation raisonnable de l’eau au niveau des bassins transfrontaliers en générale et le Jourdain en particulier.

- Les experts ont appuyés tous les projets destinés à mobiliser une eau supplémentaire afin de la partager équitablement entre les pays riverains. Ces projets étant :

- Le Red-Dead situé à l’aval du bassin du Jourdain et doit s’appuyer sur une politique participative de tous les pays riverains du bassin.

- La construction du barrage d’Ibl Saki situé à l’amont du bassin du Jourdain sur l’affluent du bassin Hasbani-Wazzani du Liban.

- Les projets de dessalement d’eau de mer qui sont actuellement en exploitation.

- La notion de nouvelle masse d’eau qui combine l’eau conventionnelle et non conventionnelle pourrait constituer la solution technique au problème politique. L’amélioration de l’offre en eau ne pourra se faire qu’à travers ces projets cités ci-dessous et aussi en s’appuyant sur les technologies que l’on maitrise de mieux en mieux

- La mobilisation des capitaux nécessaires à la réalisation de ces projets devient une priorité : la réalisation du Canal Resd- Dead, le barrage d’Ibl El Saki, les projets de dessalement pourraient garantir une eau supplémentaire de 700 millions de m3lan. Ces projets été évolués par l’AFD et la Banque Mondiale à dix milliards de dollars environs.

- Il faut sauvegarder la mer Morte, patrimoine internationale et bien public pour l’humanité entière. La Mer Morte baisse aujourd’hui d’environ 1 mètre par an. Avec ce grand sujet Red-Dead Sea on va pouvoir gagner 30 cm de moins de baisse et alimenter en eau potable et abondante (700 milliards m3 d’eau) les pays riverains situés à l’aval du bassin.

- Il est tant de régler les litiges sur la distribution de l’eau du bassin du Jourdain en prenant en considération les droits de citoyens des pays riverains.

- Le moment est venu pour proposer la création d’une agence régionale du bassin pour le Jourdain sous l’égide des Nations Unies en s’appuyant sur la convention onusienne soit celle de 1992 ou celle de 1997.

- Cette agence régionale du bassin investirait dans toutes les infrastructures nécessaires pouvant aider les riverains à l’accès à l’eau à travers des partenariats publics privés.

- Cette agence opérerait comme une institution multinationale. Les eaux du bassin sont indistinctement allouées et l’utilisation de ces eaux ne peut être changée que par la volonté des Nation Unies et l’approbation des différents gouvernements des pays riverains. L’eau conventionnelle et non conventionnelle du bassin doit être allouée équitablement aux différents pays riverains.

Devant un tel défi, la communauté internationale devait se mobiliser le plus vite possible. Le bassin du Jourdain est une cause humanitaire digne du plus grand intérêt pour sauver des populations qui risquent de manquer d’eau dans le très proche avenir.

Une mobilisation de tous les acteurs participants à ces études devenait urgente avec le renforcement de la gouvernance pour une meilleure gestion transfrontalière de ce bassin.

« Seule » une gestion multinationale sous l’égide des Nations Unies donnerait une solution gagnante- gagnante qui pourrait contribuer au développement durable et à une gestion saine du Jourdain.

Rendez-vous au Sénat,

au prochain colloque sur l’ hydrodiplomatie du Nil.

M. Olivier Cadic, Sénateur représentant les français établis hors de France


Contact information Mona Fakih (email:
Event type Conference
File link n/a
File link copy Colloque Senat 13Dec2016 version 3 decembre 6 eng.pdf (PDF, 502 Kb)
Geographical coverage France,
Address Sénat Paris
Organizer REMOB, Sénat
Target audience International
Period 13/12/2016
Status Confirmed
Working language(s) ENGLISH , FRENCH