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News Jordan: Prince El Hassan calls for a master plan for water in the Middle East

His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan, on Monday (February, 15, 2010), called for a master plan for water in the Middle East. In his keynote speech at the conference on "Water Security in the Middle East", in Montreaux, Switzerland, HRH said that discussions on the carrying capacity and recovery capacity in the region should be based on public policies which take into consideration the elements of human integration.

His Royal Highness stressed the need for a regional Community of Water and Energy for the Human Environment, a supra-national concept, such as the coal and steel community out of which the European Economic Community grew. HRH hopes that such a concept may initiate West Asia-North Africa cooperation and bring benefits comparable to European integration.

HRH said that it is time to establish a third sphere of partnership between governments, private sector and civil society in order to mobilize the "silenced majority" and enable them to become shareholders of their future.

"War does not make additional water, but regional cooperation can... There is an urgent need for developed countries to provide technical assistance and support to water poor countries to reach a better level of water safety," HRH said.

"Our challenge in this part of the world is to come to terms with the international inconsistency and double standards to which we find ourselves subjected year after year. We have had enough of being the subject of development policies. We would like to become the object of development," HRH said.

HRH warned that the world's dry areas will be severely affected by climate change, putting at high risk agricultural production, food security and human livelihoods in these already vulnerable areas; stressing that urgent coordinated efforts are essential to both develop effective climate change adaptation strategies and mitigation measures.

Prince El Hassan emphasized that peace in the region is possible if it is comprehensive. Away from the stereotypes which depict the Middle East as mere oil and terrorism, there are millions of peoples in West Asia and North Africa who are seeking a better future for themselves, their children and their grand children.

The conference is an initiative launched by Strategic Foresight Group and supported by the governments of Switzerland and Sweden. The objective is to find sustainable and collaborative solutions to the problem of water security and to explore the use of water as an instrument of peace in the Middle East.

While in Switzerland, HRH Prince El Hassan, accompanied by HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan, made a visit to "Fondation Bodmer" where they toured among the various precious old manuscripts of religious, philosophical and intellectual books.

See also: Middle East Water Security Worries the Prince of Jordan ;


New Initiative

Water Security in the Middle East, Montreux Workshop

SFG announces a new initiative on Water Security in the Middle East to find sustainable and collaborative solutions to one of the region's most important issues. The intiative is supported by the Governments of Switzerland and Sweden.

The initiative in the Middle East is focused on internal and trans-boundary water courses in Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestinian Territories, and Jordan. About 50 experts will participate in various workshops in 2010. Green Prophet, a prominent blog in the region, will launch a debate on the subject. SFG will also be involved in consultations with government leaders and policy makers from the region to find solutions that are acceptable to parties in conflict.

SFG organized two international workshops at Montreux which were attended by senior policy makers, cabinet ministers, parliamentarians and water experts from across the Middle East.

Montreux Report

Keynote Address by HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal

Keynote Address by HRH Prince Hassan bin Talal - Summary

Speech by Dr. Martin Dahinden

Media Coverage

SFG Workshops

Dhaka Declaration on Water Security

Strategic Foresight Group and Bangladesh Institute for Peace and Security Studies co-hosted the second international workshop on water security in the Himalayan River Basins at Dhaka on 15-16 January 2010, with a view to identify sustainable and collaborative and regional solutions.

Dhaka Declaration on Water Security, January 2010

Kathmandu Workshop Report, August 2009

Contact information Marwan Hamdan, Press Secretary of HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal, Majlis Elhassan (email:
Phone: +962 6 4644407 ; Mobile : +962 79 6754938 ; Mobile2: +962 77 6798940
News type Inbrief
File link
Source of information Majlis El-Hassan
Keyword(s) water security
Geographical coverage Jordan, Switzerland, International, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine
News date 01/03/2010
Working language(s) ENGLISH