First Meeting of the OIC Water Council

15-16 November 2017 | Istanbul

The Water Vision Implementation Plan was adopted as a result of the First OIC Water Council Meeting which was held in Istanbul Swissotel on 15-16th of November 2017 and organized by the Turkish Water Institute (SUEN) under the Ministry of Forestry and Water Affairs of Turkey in close collaboration with the OIC General Secretariat.

Water Council was established last year in pursuance of the decision of the 3rd Session of the OIC Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water and which is consisting of 11 member states and the OIC General Secretariat, relevant OIC institutions and observers. In the meetings of the OIC Water Council, the Proposed Implementation Plan for the OIC Water Vision was assessed by the senior officials first, and the second day the draft documents of the senior officials meeting was finalized in the ministerial level meeting. Representatives of the OIC General Secretariat as the OIC Assistant Secretary General Ambassador Naeem Khan, Director General of the Science & Technology Department Mr. Irfan Shaukat and Expert Mr. Abdunur Sekindi participated to the meetings.

First OIC Water Council Senior Officials Meeting

The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Foreign Affairs Mr. Akif Özkaldı chaired the senior officials meeting of the First OIC Water Council Meeting held on 15th of November, 2017. The vice chairs was selected as Egypt who will be the host of the 4th Session of the OIC Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water, and Bangladesh. Nigeria was appointed as the rapporteur for the First OIC Water Council Meeting. Mr. Fadi Farasin, researcher from The Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC), presented “the Role of SESRIC in Supporting the OIC Water Vision” in both meetings, as well as the ministerial level meeting upon request of Nigeria. Mr. Sami Ahmad Faruqi from the Islamic Development Bank also made a presentation in the senior officials meeting in order to introduce the IDB’s projects on water and its funds. The meeting continued with discussions on the Draft Working Document which was composed of 4 main elements of the cooperation areas described as follows:

  • Assessment of the needs and capacities of the Member States.
  • Networking of Water Centres of Excellence
  • Collaborative Research Activities & Capacity Building Activities
  • Resource Mobilization

The Working Document was generally accepted positively, however only the representative of Egypt offered a different perspective for the resource mobilization part.

First Meeting of OIC Water Council Ministerial Meeting

6 Ministers, 1 Assistant Minister, 2 Undersecretary and 1 Director General out of 11 Member States (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Guinea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uganda) attended to the 1st OIC Water Council Meeting chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroğlu, the Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs of the Republic of Turkey. OIC General Secretariat and its related bodies COMSTECH, ISESCO, SESRIC, IDB and INWARDAM with ICBA participated to the meeting as observers.

The presentation called on “Water Aid Perspective of Turkish Government” was made by the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Foreign Affairs Mr. Akif Özkaldı within the meeting held on 16th of November, 2017. The Statements of the head of delegations were followed in the second session. Regarding the statement of Turkey, Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs H.E. Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroğlu gave a speech on establishment of the Water Council which was the most concrete outcome of the 3rd Session of the OIC Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water, and which is expected to create system in order to have quick and shared response for solving recent and most significant global problems such as migration, water related disasters and waterborne diseases that hit the Islamic region hard.

H.E Prof. Eroğlu also underlined that the Global Humanitarian Report of Turkey 2017 indicated that the Republic of Turkey had supported financially 6 billion US Dollars to the humanitarian aid and she was ranked the 2nd place after the USA by putting the money to the humanitarian activities. In 2016, Turkey reserved its 0, 75% of national income to humanitarian aid and became “the most generous country” in the world.

Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs H.E. Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroğlu described his anticipation from the OIC Water Council as follows:

“As I declared in previous OIC Conferences of Ministers Responsible for Water and as well as other foras, for solving the water related problems particularly in the least developed countries we should take the responsibility and execute the establishment of the Resource Mobilization Mechanism which is the system to deliver the technical aid to those who needs, as a good example for other great countries and international organizations.

On the other hand, of course we should focus on capacity building activities on waterborne diseases, water related disasters, efficient use of water, reducing the impacts the climate change on water resources, prevention of water pollution, rehabilitation of water and sanitation services and creating innovative technologies, and develop collaboration among our countries. As the Ministers, Undersecretaries, Director Generals and Heads, briefly as the members of the OIC Water Council and who give their hearts to water issues, our final and greatest goal should be solving water problems in our region.

After the statements of the head of delegations, Proposed Implementation Plan for the OIC Water Vision was open to assessments to the Water Council and it was adopted with the revision request of Egypt on the resource mobilization mechanism. Thus, the Resource Mobilization Group was established under the OIC Conference of Ministers Responsible for Water and OIC Water Council in order to facilitate the donors that will provide funds to water related projects. Upon the request of Egypt as stated in the document, the OIC Water Council invites its Member States to hold future frequent meetings to discuss further means of cooperation.

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