I participated in the one-day meeting when I was in Yangon, Myanmar, last May for the GWP Steering Committee meeting. I sat at Round Table 2, Water and Sanitation/WASH.
For those of you not accustomed to the term 'High Level' it means ministerial-level folks took part and did most of the speaking but not most of the heavy lifting.
Myanmar has embarked on an accelerated road to development. With its as yet sparsely tapped but abundant natural resources and still pristine ecosystems Myanmar has a unique opportunity to ensure that this brisk development will be sustainable and equitable, as well as the chance to avoid the mistakes made by other developing countries. This will test the water management and governance potential of the country to the fullest.
Within this national context and the recent Agreement that the International Community has formulated around Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Global Water Partnership (GWP) in collaboration with the Myanmar Water Think Tank and the Myanmar Country Water Partnership, at the invitation of the Government of Myanmar, has organized a High Level Round Table around the theme of Water Security and the SDGs that aims to benefit both Myanmar and the South East Asian Region. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and organized back-to-back with the Steering Committee meeting of the GWP Intergovernmental Organization.
The meeting benefited from the experience and strategic vision of several key Regional Organizations with which GWP collaborates in Asia and that have knowledge on water security and SDGs, as well as selected invitees inside Myanmar who play important roles in the Myanmar water sector.
GWP wishes to thank the Organizations that have sponsored this event, in particular the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Office of the UN Secretary General Special Envoy for Disaster Reduction and Water, the High Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan, the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Myanmar Water Think Tank, the Australian Water Partnership, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
As the interim Chair of GWP, I particularly wish to thank GWP Myanmar and GWP South- East Asia for their invaluable contributions to making our joint event a success. A special word of thanks to each and every one of the participants who have contributed her/his knowledge and expertise for building a more water secure environment for the people of Myanmar and of the South East Asian Region.
Dr. Alice Bouman-Dentener
Chair (interim), Global Water Partnership