Frontline states with Syria should find ways to engage in practical cooperation on essential issues, including water, refugees and social justice to pave the way for a new humanitarian order in the Middle East, experts and policy makers have suggested.
As the current war in Syria prevents the creation of a regional cooperation council on a governmental level, sub-regional committees for cooperation between Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey should be set up until there is a functional state in Syria, they pointed out.
During a roundtable meeting on Thursday, co-convened by the Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) and Majlis El Hassan in cooperation with the Royal Scientific Society and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), participants discussed elements of a new architecture for the Middle East, one that is centred on water and environment in the region’s longer journey to find peace and stability.
With about 40 million hydro-insecure people in the Levant — some of them turning into refugees due to water scarcity and drought — the relationship between water, refugees and the gender factor should be carefully addressed, while a policy response should be designed, the participants agreed.
[Photo by Naseem Tarawnah | Flickr]