Report of the Second WANA Forum 2010


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Report of the Second WANA Forum 2010

  1. 1. Report of the Second WANA ForumPursuing Supranational Solutions tothe Challenges of Carrying Capacity 16 - 18 MAY 2010 AMMAN, JORDAN
  2. 2. Copyright © 2010 by the WANA ForumNo part of this report may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any meanswithout prior written permission from the WANA Forum.Deposit No. 2010 / 7 / 2768ISBN: 978 - 9957 - 419 - 10 - 3Publisher: WANA ForumEditors: Laura Haddad, Nour Qabba’ah, Baker al-Hiyari and Martti AntolaDesigner: Ihsan HusseinPrinting: National Press Amman, JordanThe West Asia–North Africa Forum garetfully acknowledges the support of The Nippon Foundation.
  3. 3. Building Trust Together Report of the Second WANA ForumPursuing Supranational Solutions tothe Challenges of Carrying Capacity 16 - 18 MAY 2010 AMMAN, JORDAN
  4. 4. 2 WANA Forum Report 2010
  5. 5. TABLE OF CONTENTSForeword 5Post-Forum reFlections 8executive summary 111. Overview of the WANA Forum 152. Opening Remarks 183. Transcending Regional Carrying Capacity 214. Regional Themes and Priorities of the WANA Forum 245. Launch of the Arabic Report of the Legal Empowerment of the Poor: Making the Law Work for Everyone 296. Displacement and Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Recovery 327. Social Cohesion in the WANA Region 398. Our Common Future: Water, Environment and Energy Community 439. Environment and Green Economy 4710. Mobilising the Third Sphere for Collective Action 5111. Dinner Remarks by Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 5512. Break-Out Groups 56 12.1 Social Cohesion 56 12.2 Green Economy 62 12.3 Environment 64 12.4 Reconstruction and Recovery 7013. Conclusions of WANA Forum 2010 73Annexes 77 A1. Agenda 79 A2. Participants 89 A3. Speaker Bios 95 A4. Break-Out Session Participants 115 A5. Background Paper: Beyond WANA Forum 2010 117 A6. WANA Forum Secretariat 127
  6. 6. Photo credit: AP/EMPICS Foreword by HrH Prince el Hassan bin talal, Chairman oF the wana Forum T he West Asia-North Africa (WANA) region continues to face many challenges, some of them untold; most of them tragic and sadly, man-made. After taking part in three days of discussions where regional cooperation could bring added value: reconstruction and recovery, green economy, water and energy, education for sustainable development (ESD), the revival of hima and social cohesion. and deliberations during WANA Forum 2010 This year, poverty as one source of I remain optimistic. This optimism is not social fragmentation, was one of the areas ‘rose-tinted’ nor does it jar with the reality of addressed with the launch of the Arabic these ongoing tragedies; rather, listening to version of the Report of the Commission the stories of those WANA participants who on Legal Empowerment of the Poor (LEP), have lived through such adversity, gives me in collaboration with the United Nations hope and faith in the possibility of greater Development Programme (UNDP) and the things to come for the peoples of this region. Arab Thought Forum (ATF). The Report, These participants from all over the WANA Making the Law Work for Everyone, states region come together to form a community that poverty is not merely about a lack of of individuals comprised of the Third Sphere material resources, but also about a lack – government, private sector and civil society of property rights, labour and business rights – of WANA and beyond. These concerned as well as access to justice and the rule WANA citizens – some of them ‘witnesses’ of law. Seventy per cent of the world’s from crisis areas – are motivated by a sense population is unable to improve their of responsibility to combat the structures of livelihood regardless of how hard they work injustice wherever they exist. because of blatant exclusion. What seems Inspired by the Helsinki Process of 1975, yet to be understood by many in our society which is based on three ‘baskets’ – economy, is that all of humanity stands to lose if four security and humanitarian issues, the WANA billion human beings remain outside an Forum in 2009 identified priority issues inclusive societal structure. WANA Forum Report 2010 5
  7. 7. We are now only five years away from scarcity and drought, as no single state can2015 – the year in which the Millennium effectively achieve this on its own. This isDevelopment Goals (MDGs) are supposed where the concept of a Community of Waterto be realised. Yet, in the LEP session, I was and Energy for the Human Environment, areminded of how much we have to do in concept I have been advocating for manyorder to get there. Did we set the benchmark years, comes into its own. It takes a regionaltoo high? Or did we fail as a community approach to water, hunger, climate, healthto do our best and try our hardest to make and poverty which is encompassing andthe MDGs a reality? The UNDP gently consultative, with a view to averting future conflict or as we have recently Until uprooted communities are seen inwars’. media reports, ‘water someafforded autonomy over their lives, During the WANA Forum 2010 we discussed the notion ofregional and global human security the ‘uprooted’ (a term originallywill be threatened by a growing hatred introduced by the Independentindustry borne of human suffering and Commission on International Humanitarian Affairs in theour collective failure to act early 1980s) in the context of Territoriality, Identity andwarned us that with regard to the MDGs, Movement/Migration (TIM), a concept thatthere are three on which the WANA region challenges the current discourse aroundis failing: (1) Poverty, Employment and mandates – mandates for Palestinians;Hunger; (3) Women’s Empowerment and mandates for Iraqis and so on. The theory(7) Environmental Sustainability. This is behind the uprooted is that all peoples whoan opportunity for the WANA community have been forced to leave their homeland areto mobilise and to look at the underlying equally vulnerable and their needs are oftenreasons as to why we are not on track to grossly misunderstood. People uprooted bymeet these Goals. war, violence, environmental devastation and One of the highlights of this year’s persecution do not just need bags of flourForum was the Strategic Foresight Group’s and rice, or cement to rebuild houses, albeitsession on water, ‘Our Common Future: these items are important in themselves.Water, Environment and Energy Community’ Retaining dignity in their lives is what lies atwhere the concept of concentric circles of the root of all human aspiration and identity,cooperation to break political deadlocks and and until uprooted communities, irrespectivegenerate ideas that can be implemented at of labels are afforded autonomy over theirthe policy level was discussed. Water must lives, regional (and global) human securitybe treated as an instrument of partnership, or will be threatened by a growing hatredthere is every chance it will reach a critical industry borne of human suffering and ourimpasse which will threaten our security collective failure to act.and survival in the coming decades, such The WANA Forum is here to ask theas we have seen with Weapons of Mass difficult questions and to suggest alternativesDestruction. Of the 15 most water-poor that are sustainable and situated in thecountries in the world, ten are in the WANA context of the WANA region. As ourregion. All states must take responsibility resources continue to dwindle, it is evidentfor finding regional solutions to water that we should invest more in a resource of6 WANA Forum Report 2010
  8. 8. which we have plenty – people. We have to moment during the Forum, when I was toldconserve our physical resources and develop that the sessions were being simultaneouslyour social and human capital with respect webcast to viewers all over the globe. Givento human dignity because the true wealth the high number of young people who useof nations relies on social cohesion, not the Internet to access information, I can onlyjust on indicators such as GDP. A Regional hope we reached some of them, as it is thisCohesion Fund would be an important group we most need to engage, listen to andstep toward establishing a more productive encourage.mechanism for enabling inter-regional This is not my Forum or your Forum. Itand intra-independent action to enhance is a shared, inclusive space where we can allregional social cohesion. This will need to come together to consolidate our efforts andbe based on a ‘code of conduct’ outlined in resources, through regional multidisciplinary,a social charter and informed by a cohesion multi-sectoral approaches, to legitimateindex that is developed with the help of and motivate collective action to influenceconstructive consultations across WANA. An decision-makers and change agents. Theempirical, apolitical database which can be challenge now is to turn ideas into aeasily accessed by policymakers, community practical framework which is inclusive andleaders, advocates, the public and the media accessible, bridging the gaps between theorywill be an important tool in this process. and practice; between the local, regional The WANA region would also do well and global; and to devise strategies toto listen and learn from the rest of Asia. influence political structures in ways that areAs was clear from the presentations by meaningful and relevant to the communitiesour speakers from China, Japan and the on which we ultimately want to have anAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations impact. We now have an opportunity to(ASEAN), Asian states have proved they can infuse the entire policy debate (a debateadjust to the challenges of development where our voices need to be heard) with(and in some cases thrive) in an era of solid research that will undoubtedly improvevolatile global markets and continued the quality and effectiveness of policyWestern domination. Since WANA is, after actions.all, part of Asia, it should complement its I hope you will join me and thecooperation with Europe and North America greater WANA Forum community, withwith stronger links to these Asian nations the continued support of The Nipponwhose ‘Roadmap for an ASEAN Community Foundation, in building partnerships for2009 - 2015’ comprises the three pillars of a regional cooperation around thematicPolitical-Security Community, an Economic priorities in the pursuit of a strong, stableCommunity and a Socio-Cultural Community and sustainable ensure durable peace, stability and sharedprosperity in the region. This second annual WANA meeting hasbuilt on the work of the past year and nowI trust that you, based on the summary of El Hassan bin Talalthemes, conclusions and recommendations Amman, August 2010outlined in this report, will continue the‘WANA conversation’ either virtually or whenyour paths cross again. This brings me to another satisfying WANA Forum Report 2010 7
  9. 9. Post-Forum reFlectionsI t was truly encouraging to see so many prominent individuals from across and beyond the WANA regioncome together again in Amman thisyear with the shared commitment of discussions, which demonstrated participants’ profound commitment to the welfare of the entire human family. From climate change to water consumption, from freedom of expression to social solidarity, from foodworking towards a better future for the security to education and health, all theseregion. I was particularly impressed at topics require committed action based onhow the members of the Forum were common purpose. We can build the kind oftaking concrete steps towards addressing societies we want for our children when weurgent challenges facing the region dare to dream and dare to be bold. There isthrough their participation in the various so much we can do for a whole generationworking groups. I have no doubt that and for the whole world.this Forum of likeminded individuals will Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director ofcontinue to grow and play a vital role, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egyptnot only in helping policymakers acrossthe region develop policies, but also At every stage in the evolution of worldin aiding civil society organisations in economy, certain drivers determine thetheir work. I consider it a true privilege future. In this century, water, environment,to be a member of this community and and human intellect are the most significantvery much look forward to taking part in driving forces. Therefore, it must be ourfuture meetings. priority to transform water and environment Mr.Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The from potential risks to instruments of peace Nippon Foundation, Japan and progress. In the entire landmass from VietnamUnder the banner of Pursuing Supranational and Cambodia in East Asia to Turkey inSolutions to the Challenges of Carrying West Asia and from Egypt in North AfricaCapacity, we shared our knowledge and our to Republic of South Africa, a mega arch ofexperience at WANA Forum 2010 and have hydro insecurity exists. West Asia is at thetaken a commitment to act on the issues epicentre of this mega-arch. Experts havewe raised. I believe that we left the Forum been debating for years the problems ofenriched by the thoughtful presentations and water security but always from short-term8 WANA Forum Report 2010
  10. 10. and nationalistic perspectives. HRH Prince are expected to be achieved by 2013, itEl Hassan made a conceptual breakthrough would be necessary and wise to concentrateat the WANA Forum 2010 plenary on Our only on the few already selected themes.Common Future: Water, Environment and Therefore, the challenge remains as to howEnergy by proposing Concentric Circles of best to ensure that the next Forum may focusCooperation. This idea makes it possible for and deepen the discussion on those themescountries facing similar challenges to come in order to give guidance and direction fortogether to develop a shared vision of a the remaining period.water and environment community, without Wishing all WANA Forum participants abeing hampered by protracted conflicts. great deal of enthusiasm and success in thisPeace and cooperation need to be built noble endeavour!carefully and gradually. At this year’s WANA Ambassador Ilari Rantakari, Ministry forForum in Amman, we saw the first building Foreign Affairs of Finlandblock of our common future. Mr. Sundeep Waslekar, President of the The region of WANA is a strategic area of Strategic Foresight Group, India energy resources, about half of the world’s population resides here and the youngThe second WANA Forum clearly indicated population, to the degree that it is educatedthat the WANA Process is shaping up and and cultivated, can act as a vessel ofmotivating relevant individuals and through development and progress.them institutions in the region to participate I am happy to learn of Prince El Hassanand contribute to the preparation of policy and other participants’ positive reactionproposals as well as concrete action steps in to Turkey’s recent regional policy of ‘zerothe areas of the selected process themes. problems with its neighbours’, understanding I have had the privilege to witness the the importance of unity and and committed participation and The WANA initiative is still in itsguidance of His Royal Highness over beginning stages – like a seed that falls tothe past years in the Helsinki Process the ground, a baby who takes his or her firston Globalisation and Democracy. His steps or the first stages of a joyous voyage.inspirational leadership and establishment Seeds develop, babies grow up and joyousof the capable WANA Secretariat are already voyages reach their destination. Just as theyielding results in mobilising necessary European Coal and Steel Community formedpartnerships and linkages to enhance desired the beginnings of the European Union, theand much needed collaboration and actions WANA region, if it can emerge from today’samong and by different stakeholders for the short-sighted politics, has as much potential.benefit of the WANA region and beyond. Mr. Cemal Usak, Vice President of the As I have had the opportunity to follow Journalists and Writers Foundation,Turkeythe work on Social Cohesion, I would liketo commend the initial preparation and I am inspired by Prince El Hassan who,commitments made in the Forum. This after having listened to the adverse storieswould suggest that the work will continue narrated by individuals at WANA Forumand advance significantly through the 2010, could derive hope and faith in theestablished working groups and partnerships. future rather than hopelessness and despair. It is only natural that many important His Royal Highness’ opening remarks atissues would deserve to be included in this the Forum boosted my usually optimistickind of process. However, as tangible results disposition so much that I see light beyond WANA Forum Report 2010 9
  11. 11. the cumulus that has engulfed our region for Prince El Hassan said, we need “to devisenearly three decades. strategies to influence political structures in I reiterate Prince El Hassan’s statement ways that are meaningful and relevant to thethat poverty doesn’t mean only the lack of communities on which we ultimately want tomaterial resources. Now it is time we all find have an impact.”the faith and commitment to take actionable Mr. Mohsen Marzouk, Secretary-General ofsteps toward fighting poverty and creating the Arab Democracy Foundation, Qatarsocial justice in the region. Men, women andchildren should be afforded their rightful I deeply admire HRH Prince El Hassan forplace in society with full legal protection. his visionary initiative – the WANA Forum I thank the WANA Forum for inviting me recognises the fundamental role of educationto participate in this commendable initiative. in personal and social development and Ms. Khadija Hussein, Founding its principle means of fostering human Chairperson, Sudanese Mothers for Peace development as a tool for poverty alleviation and UNESCO’s Specialist in Community and social inclusion and a cornerstone in Development in the Arab World building a culture of peace. International education embodies theOne of the demands of civil society in the priorities of the WANA Forum as it has theWANA region has, for years, been the call potential to contribute to reconstruction andto create a new working space to rise above peace-building in conflict-affected parts oftwo kinds of unfavourable divisions. the region, to the enhancement of social The first separates the three main agents cohesion and to sustainable environmental,of development (government, private sector, social, economic and cultural development.civil society) so they operate in isolation I encourage the Forum to consider settingfrom one another, hence depriving the up a WANA Chapter or Society of UNESCO-reform movement of the extraordinary APNIEVE, to develop WANA networksopportunity that mutual cooperation brings. in international education in partnership The second division concerns the various with China-based UNESCO Internationaldimensions of development. Each area Institute of Education for Rural Developmentof expertise focuses on its own specialty: (INRULED), to facilitate curriculumwomen’s rights, environment, the fight innovation and teacher/student exchangeagainst poverty, democracy and so forth for learning to live together in conflict-whereas all of these are interrelated. affected parts of the region, and to promote The most important value added of joint projects in international educationthe WANA Forum is that it is built upon for sustainable development in the regionthe idea of rethinking and unifying the with links between WANA’s and East Asiandivided components of development as universities’ high-tech parks and education-inter-dependent, multi-disciplinary and business partnerships.interconnected. Dr. Zhou Nan-Zhao, President of UNESCO At WANA Forum 2010, I had the privilege Asia-Pacific Network for Internationalof moderating the Social Cohesion sessions Education and Values Education (APNIEVE)where I saw considerable headway made and President of Chinese Council of Privatein progressing the Social Cohesion Index, Higher Education, ChinaSocial Charter and Regional Cohesion Fund. Ilook forward to joining the WANA Forum inmoving from dialogue to action, for as HRH10 WANA Forum Report 2010
  12. 12. executive summary by ProFessor sultan barakat, wana Forum moderatorT he West Asia-North Africa Forum 2010 gathered 130 individuals in Amman, from the region andelsewhere, in order to address the themeof Pursuing Supranational Solutions to WANA and to complement Euro- Mediterranean and Atlantic initiatives. Countries in WANAthe Challenges of Carrying Capacity. are beginning Building on the work of the First Annual to recogniseWANA Forum in April of 2009, the 2010 that nations areForum focused on advancing the priority empoweredissues of reconstruction and recovery, green through regionaleconomy, water and energy, education cooperation.for sustainable development, the revival Progress onof hima, and social cohesion, including cooperation andthe legal empowerment of the poor. The integration within WANA and across Asiaprinciple aim of the three-day meeting was would enhance connectivity, the leveragingto create partnerships for collaboration of resources and the region’s bargainingtowards concrete policy proposals by 2011. power on the world stage so that WANA’s WANA Forum 2010 recognised the cultural diversity could become a source ofneed for people across the region to begin strength rather than an obstacle to transcend national carrying capacity After all, the true wealth of nations lies inthrough regional thinking and a regional their human and social capital. For WANA topolicy framework that overcomes the build upon this capital, regional cooperationmulti-layered choke-points within WANA. is needed to mobilise resources, exchangeThe establishment of regional entities of lessons and best practices, promotegovernance for the various cross-cutting knowledge production and dissemination,priorities of the WANA Forum could serve educate for citizenship and sustainableto monitor, oversee and implement regional development and produce home-growncooperation. The Forum also welcomed solutions to the region’s challenges.exploring linkages between West Asia and The WANA region, a mosaic of ethnic,North Africa to the rest of Asia as a wake- religious and cultural diversity, stretches fromup call to stimulate multilateralism within Morocco to Pakistan and is home to some WANA Forum Report 2010 11
  13. 13. of the world’s earliest and most advanced the Index or refine the dimensions selectedcivilisations. Yet, it is also a region that to measure social cohesion. Partnering withfaces monumental challenges, marred with research institutions, think tanks, universitiesconflict, war and the intense movement of and UN agencies from across the regionpeople who flee their countries by force or would be helpful in the data collection phasein the pursuit of a better life. The gradual as well as in developing the Index.‘brain drain’ that has ensued is exacerbated The need for a social contract was alsoby a lack of effective policies and an absence proposed by Forum participants last year.of incentives for people to stay and enhance A charter has the potential to further thethe region’s carrying capacity. aims of advancing social development by Millions of people across WANApromoting the concept of citizenship andtoday experience multi-faceted poverty, equity, stimulating a process of dialogueextending beyond material needs to include within civil society groups and betweeninfringement on basic human rights. They civil society and governments. The currentlive on the outskirts of society under multiple draft of the WANA Social Charter should,forms of exclusion and marginalisation, therefore, be widely disseminated to garnerwithout any access to legal protection. feedback, and be made available in theFollowing the First Annual WANA Forum in form of an executive summary (in Arabic,2009, a working group of Forum members Farsi, Turkish and Urdu) as well as a fullembarked on an attempt to create a Social draft on the WANA Forum website. MediaCohesion Index that measures cohesion and advocacy strategies will also need to beand factors that contribute to it in WANA developed for different target audiences.countries, such as security and state capacity, Finally, a Regional Cohesion Fund rootedequality, participation and engagement, in a code of conduct outlined in the Socialdisplacement, civic culture, mutual trust, Charter and informed by data from the Socialsocial networks, tolerance to diversity and Cohesion Index, would advance social,inclusion, material and emotional wellbeing, environmental and economic developmenthealth and social security. The Index in the region. The nature of the governingcould offer state and non-state actors an body, eligibility criteria for the allocation ofanalytical tool to guide the establishment of funds, management structures, monitoringdevelopmental priorities. WANA Forum 2010 and evaluation processes, and sources ofagreed to pursue qualitative and quantitative funding and partners, will be addressed inresearch in select WANA countries to validate the policy proposal that will be developed. The challenges posed Progress on cooperation and by demographic pressures, environmental stresses,integration within WANA and across widespread inequalities,Asia would enhance connectivity, the entrenched pockets of poverty, chronic unemployment, deeplyleveraging of resources and the region’s rooted division and numerousbargaining power on the world stage political, sectarian and religious conflicts present a serious threatso that WANA’s cultural diversity could to local, national and regionalbecome a source of strength rather than stability. Those who suffer the consequences are mostan obstacle to progress often women, children and the12 WANA Forum Report 2010
  14. 14. the establishment of an Those who suffer the consequences electronic public forum forare most often women, children and the the sharing of lessons and good practices on all ofuprooted, the silenced majority in urgent the WANA Forum priorityneed of a coherent regional voice to raise issues. A comparative research project detailingits status in international relations the relationship between reconstruction, reconciliationuprooted, the silenced majority in urgent and peace building is needed to produceneed of a coherent regional voice to raise its models and methodologies or tool kits forstatus in international relations. To this end, countries in the region. The Forum alsoWANA Forum 2010 agreed on a regional agreed to draft a concept paper that woulddonorship consultation in the near future examine five key sectors: energy, water,and to advocate for full WANA participation transport, waste and cities. New initiativesin global conventions on aid effectiveness, for renewable power generation and watersuch as the Paris Declaration and the Accra management must be carried out soon,Agenda for Action. informed by best practices. Lastly, a working A regional voluntary organisation report on water security by the Forumsimilar to the United States Peace Corps members will be finalised to propose thecould help instil a sense of service and establishment of a WANA water scarcity andcivic responsibility to the cause of peace drought information system, highlight thewith volunteers living in conflict affected need to facilitate relevant training sessionsor socially fragmented communities of across the region by WANA experts andWANA and working on issues ranging from promote a region-wide television andfood security, education and health to Internet campaign to push governments andenvironment, business and information and the general public to consider WANA’s highcommunication technology. rate of water consumption and respond to The Forum also agreed to develop the challenges of carrying capacity. Onea proposal for a regional reconstruction of these challenges include the effects oftraining institute which could foster a climate change, which will also be addressedgeneration of leaders from within WANA in a WANA report, in the context of uprootedwho could tackle issues from conflict populations, food security, biodiversity,management and prevention to post- water, energy and education.conflict reconstruction and economic Members of the WANA Forum agree thatdevelopment. Rather than reconstructing the instruments of regional cooperation must bestatus-quo-ante, the Forum highlighted the grounded in the principles of sustainability –potential of green housing developments, of both natural and human resources – whilewhich are affordable and environmentally the human element must be placed at thesound, as well as the creation of a green centre of efforts to advance supranationalmodern industrial base and mass transport solutions to shared regional concerns. All-infrastructure – all central to developing inclusive sustainable development embracesstate systems, revitalising economies and freedom, justice, participation and respect forpromoting social cohesion. human dignity. Capacity building requires solid Hima is one example of an indigenousresearch, the consolidation of data and system of conservation management WANA Forum Report 2010 13
  15. 15. that empowers local communities. The setting the groundwork for a WANA modelestablishment of a hima revolving fund of ESD in select pilot schools. It would focusfor the legal empowerment of the poor on administrators and teachers to ensure thatwould help build the capacities of local they are trained in providing children withcommunities to manage, monitor and the needed tools and skills for experiential,conserve sustainable use of natural interactive learning and would also engageresources. The Forum agreed to compile a university students from WANA and otherdatabase of existing traditional himas, create regions in the process of developing anda Wikipedia web-page for hima where assessing ESD, thereby translating researchscholars from around the world would be into practical applications.invited to contribute, and to document In an era where technology plays anthrough film the oral history of tribal men important role in connecting people acrossand women whose knowledge of hima was the globe, e-learning, institutional twinning,acquired and maintained for over 1400 years. cyber media and virtual communities provideThis would not only contribute to regional opportunities for WANA to galvanise theknowledge of WANA history, but would Third Sphere of partnership into concertedalso raise the profile of the region among action. Progressing from dialogue toboth academic and non-academic circles action requires increased collaborationelsewhere in the world. with civil society, business partners, media Integrating indigenous knowledge, and government actors around thematicon hima for example, into the school issues. It also requires outreach to youth,curriculum is also integral in altering regional who comprise up to 60 per cent of theresource consumption patterns through population in many WANA countries, and theeducation for sustainable development involvement of local communities as genuine(ESD). Interactive courses, extracurricular stakeholders.activities and community service learning The following report attempts to provideare effective tools for emphasising the a comprehensive overview of these regionalconnection between people and their themes and recommendations for concertedenvironment and encouraging lifelong action.civic engagement for the common good.The Forum aims to promote a community For full-text presentations, reports andof practice around ESD with government, updates, visit sector and media partnerships in In an era where technology plays an important role inconnecting people across the globe, e-learning, institutionaltwinning, cyber media and virtual communities provideopportunities for WANA to galvanise the Third Sphere ofpartnership into concerted action14 WANA Forum Report 2010
  16. 16. 1 overview oF tHe wana ForumS ultan Barakat, WANA Forum Moderator, Advisor to Prince El Hassan bin Talal and Director of the Post-war Reconstructionand Development Unit, University of York,welcomed participants to the second annual how this discussion could be brought to the people, leaders and institutions of the WANA region, both independently and through the mobilisation of partnerships. Professor Barakat reminded participantsmeeting of the West Asia - North Africa of the motivations that led to the launch ofForum, entitled Pursuing Supranational the WANA Forum. It emerged, in part, fromSolutions to the Challenges of Carrying the recognition that, despite the increasingCapacity. global movement towards supranational He noted that the discussions initiated solutions, many countries in the WANAat the first annual meeting in April 2009 region remain focused solely on nationalhave continued, not only through numerous agendas. As a result, they are less able tothematic consultations, but also within advocate for their shared interests upon theeach of the members’ home countries, and global stage. Rather than a unified WANA,highlighted that such discussion is at the core with a regional voice on the world stage,of the WANA Forum process and represents they have tended to view themselves asits greatest tool. Every movement and great Gulf States, Arab countries, Central Asianhistorical change begins with a conversation republics and so which those involved realise that they are Despite similar priorities – fromfacing the same challenges, and that they economic growth to conflict and ecologicallyhave the will and the capacity to address sustainable development – WANA countriesthem effectively. far too often define themselves by their Over the three days of the second annual cultural, historical, linguistic and ideologicalmeeting, participants were presented the differences. Paradoxically, the WANAopportunity to continue the dialogue, with Forum itself, which tries to overcome suchthe added responsibility of determining divisions, may be viewed as creating another WANA Forum Report 2010 15
  17. 17. exclusionary framework by separating the The work of the WANA Forum is guidedWANA region from its neighbours. This is not by a three-phase process. The first annualthe intention. meeting in April 2009 launched the first In fact, it may be better not to project phase, which focused on the identificationthe WANA region as a geographical area of priorities and issues. Informed by thebut rather as a conceptual meeting place technical expertise and experience offor those peoples and places which are all those involved, the process began byperceived as “in between” and at times on identifying a number of cross-cutting themesthe margins of international dialogue and around which a series of expert consultationsprogress. As such, WANA is not a map, and took place throughout the year: a) thethe WANA Forum also includes voices and reconstruction and recovery of war-torn orperspectives from Europe, Africa, Asia and conflict-affected parts of the region; b) thebeyond, including if not particularly from enhancement of social cohesion between theIndia and China, two countries with which region’s diverse peoples, c) the promotionthe WANA region has a long history. of environmental education for sustainable The WANA Forum is a demonstration development and d) the development ofof the saying that ‘only the tent pitched by ‘green’ industries and infrastructure. Conceptone’s own hands will stand’. The Forum papers were later revised and accompaniedis thus motivated by a keen desire for the by more focused research agendas and draftpeople of the region to pitch their own policy proposals for presentation at thetents or, more literally, to drive their own second annual meeting for Forum membersprocesses of growth, development and to consider, refine and approve.change, whether these changes relate to During the remainder of 2010 and thethe recovery of war-torn societies, the beginning of 2011, the challenge will be toconjoining of prosperity and environmental ensure that these ideas are presented in aresponsibility or the strengthening of ties and manner which lends itself to policy debatebonds between all peoples and cultures of within major international bodies andthe region. national institutions throughout and beyond WANA. By the WANA Forum’s third annual meeting, again following a series of technical consultations and meetings of working groups, participants will be presented a set of tangible policy proposals which they will be able to finalise before preparing for a process of advocacy to last through the following years of the WANA Forum process. Professor Barakat noted that a range of key priorities emerged from the social, economic and environmental ‘tracks’ of the first meeting of the WANA Forum. Social16 WANA Forum Report 2010
  18. 18. cohesion – defined as the intangible bond and give rise to governmental as well asthat holds members of society together private-sector-led initiatives that will fosterand facilitates coexistence, development, sustainable models of economic growthprogress and prosperity – was identified which could restore the quality of land andas a major cross-cutting concern. Within water while diminishing the negative effectsthe social cohesion group, the emphasis of climate change.has been on the development of an index, Finally, reconstruction and recovery,which would allow for rigorous monitoring particularly in the aftermath of conflict andof social cohesions levels in order to identify violence, were identified as cross-cuttingproblems before they turn destructive and to issues. Reconstruction and recovery are, atsupport evidence-based policies. The group their core, concerned with the developmentalso suggested the development of a social of social cohesion as a means to preventcharter to guide region-wide efforts aimed future conflict, build peace and fosterat promoting social cohesion. Finally, the greater levels of justice and equity. A keysocial cohesion working group, building means of doing so is economic growth,upon the foundational guidance of Prince from small-scale livelihoods and micro-El Hassan, proposed the establishment finance entrepreneurs to macro-economicof a cohesion fund to enable resources reforms and large-scale investments drivento be pooled from across the region and by institutions such as the Arab Fund fordistributed in such a manner as to diminish Economic and Social Development, thematerial inequalities and attitudinal hostilities Saudi Fund for Development and the Asiathrough humanitarian and developmental Development Bank. Reconstruction andinterventions, the creation of key regional recovery also requires greater attention toinfrastructure, and the promotion of dialogue environmentally conscientious well as political and technical cooperation. The reconstruction and recovery working The economic working group developed group proposed a mapping of regionalsynergies with all tracks and has particularly reconstruction initiatives and developingfocused upon the development of regional a statement of principles for post-conflictgreen industries and green infrastructure. recovery and international developmentIn doing so, members of the track efforts within the WANA region. Such ahighlighted the need for WANA to “leapfrog” statement could guide international actorsdevelopment and bypass “old” industries in with a presence in the region. The groupfavour of those which are environmentally also emphasised the need to engage moresustainable and represent the economy fully with donor institutions from withinof tomorrow rather than the economy of WANA, which are increasingly becomingyesterday. the driving forces in war-torn contexts, in The environmental working group order to ensure that they continue to engageemphasised the need for environmental effectively and in a manner which fosterseducation for sustainable development as region-wide cohesion.a means to build an appreciation for and While not yet a formal policy proposal,commitment to ecologically responsible the reconstruction and recovery group notedpractices across the WANA region. Through the need for a regional training centre oneducation and advocacy, the knowledge, conflict and recovery that could ensure theskills and attitudinal shift necessary for creation of a cadre of national and regionalthe development of green industries can experts in order to foster more appropriateemerge. Progress in this area will support and effective means of assistance. WANA Forum Report 2010 17
  19. 19. 2 Photo credit: UAE Red Crescent oPening remarksI n his opening remarks, El Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the WANA Forum, spoke of the importance of carryingcapacity in the context of human, natural andeconomic resources and called for a regional since WANA is part of Asia. An important development is the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009 - 2015 adopted in March 2009. It sets the goal to build a community of Southeast Asian nations by 2015, comprisingvoice from WANA at the United Nations the three pillars of a Political-SecurityGeneral Assembly and the Millennium Community, an Economic Community and aDevelopment Goals Summit in 2010. He Socio-Cultural Community to ensure durablestressed the importance of building bridges peace, stability and shared prosperity in thebetween the haves and have nots, since region. The Chiang Mai Initiative amongexclusion both in terms of the state and good ASEAN +3 is another concept for the WANAgovernance has been exacerbated by the Forum to study. Some consider this US$120deteriorating situation of the uprooted in the billion swap facility a first step towards anregion. Asian Monetary Fund. A stable South Asia Prince El Hassan also spoke of human and East Asia could be complemented byand social chokepoints within the nexus stability in West Asia and North Africa.of territoriality, identity and migration/ Building on the historic silk route, Hismovement (TIM) as well as the rich and very Royal Highness noted that it would berich and the poor and very poor. The vast necessary to develop a Pan-Asian route ofresources of the WANA region are not up to ideas and intra-regional policies. Today,meeting the challenges of carrying capacity. unlike during ancient periods of prosperity,The changing nature of war and conflict are the Middle East is not part of the vision of animpacting TIM in the opposite direction to interconnected Asia and Europe. Through awhat is happening in other parts of Asia. coordinated research agenda with partners His Royal Highness stressed the need to from East and South East Asia and elsewhere,learn from the experiences of the rest of Asia the WANA Forum could contribute to18 WANA Forum Report 2010
  20. 20. existing studies and research to provide an of investing dwindling income from energyimpulse to reshape the territorial expanses in into social cohesion and collaborative effortsthe hinterlands of WANA. In short, to rethink for human security, developing an economyWANA from within. with a human face and emphasising cultural Prince El Hassan spoke about businesses affinity, which should not be seen merelyneeding to focus on building human as an afterthought. Throughout, Princedignity as a response to the alienation of El Hassan highlighted that the WANAthe majority of people in WANA from their Forum has no hidden agenda. Rather, itsocieties. He cited the World Bank estimate is a partnership based on ad hominemthat in order to keep up with the growing participation.population, the WANA region would have to His Royal Highness concluded thatcreate 55 to 70 million new jobs by 2020 – God helps those who help themselves. It55 million just to keep up and 70 million to is time that people in the WANA regionbring the employment rate up to the global start considering changing themselves, theirnorm. If the region fails to achieve this, it perceptions, shouldering their responsibilities,will only fuel the hatred industry. and stop considering themselves as a One purpose of the WANA Forum is positional elite. The people who count areto sow the seeds of a semi permanent the future generations. Efforts should beconference that recognises the importance taken to make their world a better place. Territoriality, Identity and Movement (TIM) Prince El Hassan said that a trans-disciplinary new form of social cohesion among diverse groups conversation is needed that looks at WANA to replace tribal solidarity. He considered the as if people matter.The transformation in values of Islam as a basis for the solidarity to form security goes well beyond technological a new civil society.The new wars in WANA aim at change. It involves a transformation of the the opposite. social relations of warfare.These ‘new wars’, There is an urgent need to understand the social where battles are rare and where violence relations that have been nurtured by the extended is mostly aimed at civilians, construct new conflicts and injustices in WANA, to examine the sectarian identities at the religious, ethical and fabric of what appears as the disorder in the region tribal levels to undermine the sense of shared and to discover images of alternative orders and political community*. Through the creation break-out from the binary relations constraining of memories of hate and fear, they WANA. produce divisive sectarian identities in mixed urban settings.These trends are Epistemological Tensions seen in Iraq, Afghanistan, the West Bank Conditionality of territorial vs Inclusion & Exclusion and Gaza, Lebanon and Sudan.The link framing of politics Coherence of order and disorder vs Inconclusive change between identity formation and memory Movement as progress vs Ethnic persistence is assuming new proportions. This perspective of interrogating TIM Binary Relations requires a focus on two different, but Inclusion/Exclusion The State interconnected issues: what is new and Deterritoralisation/Reterritoralisation Sovereignty who is rewriting history. Over 600 years Territory, Identity and Conflict Politics of Social Relations ago, Ibn Khaldun defined government as Movements of People Broadly Defined Nexus of Identity and Territory Mass Movement of Population State Carrying Capacity the institution which prevents injustice Memory Identity Formation other than such as it commits itself. Ibn New Wars Transformation of Society Khaldun understood the need in the new Injustice Privatisation of War cities that were being established for a * Mary Kaldor, Human Security, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2008 WANA Forum Report 2010 19
  21. 21. Lack of access to education and voices to share a collective vision for the region andhealthcare means that children are not able provide them with theto stay in school or get the treatment they means to identify their most important challengesneed when they are ill. The economic divide and address themmeans that parents are not able to provide effectively. Something needs to befor their families. Environmental problems done in the WANA region,mean they will not have access to energy Mr. Sasakawa said, about the lack of access to qualityfor heating or cooling their homes, and education and healthcare,their children will not have access to safe the economic divide, and environmental degradation.drinking water In addressing these issues, it is important to keep inYohei Sasakawa, Chairman of The Nippon mind that lack of access to education andFoundation and member of the WANA Forum healthcare means that children are not ableInternational Senior Advisory Board, began to stay in school or get the treatment theyby noting that, like any part of the world, need when they are ill. The economic dividethe WANA region faces many challenges, means that fathers and mothers are not ableranging from education, health and the to provide for their families. Environmentaleconomy to the environment and security. In problems mean they will not have access totoday’s complex, interdependent world, most energy for heating or cooling their homes,of these challenges cannot be addressed and that their children will not have accesseffectively by one nation, institution or to safe drinking water.individual acting alone. They require a long- What makes the WANA Forum trulyterm, collective vision. unique is its focus on the human element. A framework for bringing different voices Mr. Sasakawa stressed that he has no doubttogether is needed, but this framework that the Forum can make real contributionsmust also allow participants to transcend toward encouraging policymaking that willindividual, local, and national interests, and put the future of the people in the regionembrace a larger goal. It must allow those first. Pan-Asia and Europe Framework HRH Prince El Hassan explained how the current Pan-Asian network to Europe bypasses WANA and the Euro-Mediterranean network covers only part of WANA. The red and green lines represent the transportation linkages of ESCAP map. The blue highlights European Union member states while the green shows the Non-EU member states of Union for the Mediterranean. The yellow and green illustrates the missing link between Europe and Asia.20 WANA Forum Report 2010
  22. 22. 3Photo credit: Child Fund New Zealand transcending regional carrying caPacity I n his presentation, Ismail Serageldin, member of the WANA Forum International Senior Advisory Board and Director of the Library of Alexandria, gave an in depth comprehensive overview of carrying equity and inclusion, participation and empowerment. With regard to tackling climate change, he stressed the need to work simultaneously on mitigation and adaptation strategies to capacity. address the threat of climate change to He noted that historically, while Malthus economic stability, ecological sustainability, predicted that the population growth rate health and social cohesion. Humankind’s would exceed the growth of the food supply, failure to prevent excessive greenhouse gas Marquis de Condorcet saw the human mind emissions in the 20th century has resulted in as capable of removing all obstacles to today’s need to prepare for inevitable climate human progress, and that human ingenuity change. By extension, today’s ongoing failure would devise the means of feeding growing to cease excessive greenhouse gas emissions populations. Amartya Sen, however, realised will necessitate more extensive adaptation to that famines still occur even when food is even greater climate change in the future. plentiful. Development is much more about Developing adaptation strategies to freedom, justice and participation than about deal with impending climate change will physical resources. be vital, and Dr. Serageldin offered the Dr. Serageldin demonstrated to example of the Nile Delta as one of the most participants the “human face” of suffering heavily populated and intensely cultivated in the region with the aid of numerous areas on Earth. Despite covering only 2.5 slides – ranging from images of devastation per cent of Egypt’s total land area, the caused by war to the effects of water scarcity Nile Delta harbours over one-third of the and food insecurity. He proposed solutions national population and nearly half of all to ending this suffering, rooted in the crops. Standing less than two metres above interconnections of security, peace, justice, sea level, however, it is also extremely WANA Forum Report 2010 21
  23. 23. or pass through plants and The wars of the 21st century will be thus are not captured as surface water. Of the 41,000fought over water. People are out on the cubic kilometres that areknife’s edge of starvation and there is likely potentially available to people as surface water –to be a significant number of environmental lakes, rivers, melting glaciersrefugees, particularly in the WANA region – some 20 per cent are in areas too remote for people.and in Sub-Sahara Africa. In many cases, That leaves about 33,000rural women walk four hours a day in cubic kilometres, of which nearly three-quarters comesearch of water for their families in monsoons and floods. This is counted in thevulnerable to the effects of climate change. total amount of water available, but only a The population of the Arab world fraction of that is collected by dams and thusconstitutes five per cent of the world’s useful. People can now sustainably accesspopulation, but its share of the world’s water 12,500 cubic only one per cent. This small fraction is The main issue in the future will be howthreatened by population growth that is the to better manage the flow of freshwater.highest in the world, as well as pollution and Climate change is making rainfall morethe failure of the region to establish proper erratic, bringing periods of droughtwater management. and flood. Meanwhile, poor farmers in Dr. Serageldin highlighted how food developing countries are the least capableeaten daily in the region consumes about of withstanding years of drought. People2,700 litres a day, per person, which amounts are out on the knife’s edge of starvation andto almost a litre per calorie. He connected there is likely to be a significant number ofwater scarcity with food security: for many environmental refugees, particular in thepeople, access to water is as important as WANA region and in Sub-Sahara Africa. Inaccess to oil in more advanced economies. many cases, rural women walk four hours aHe predicted that the wars of the 21st day in search of water for their families.century will be fought over water. Coupled with this, the global population According to UNDP estimates, Arab is growing and incomes are rising, whichcountries will be home to some 385 million in turn leads to changing diets. Livestock ispeople in 2015. However, there have been becoming more important because animalfew indications that Arab governments are proteins are increasingly a part of the globaldeveloping the means to better manage the diet, but growing livestock requires muchregion’s precious one per cent share of the more grain and hence much more water,world’s water resources. thus impacting water resources as the world Freshwater, however, makes up only 2.5 strives to provide the diets of 21st centuryper cent of the Earth’s total water available, populations.while 97.5 per cent is saltwater. Of that 2.5 To address these challenges, Dr.per cent, two-thirds are locked in the glaciers Serageldin stressed the need to rethinkand ice caps which are currently melting current paradigms. When talking aboutinto the ocean. Of the remaining two-thirds, a knowledge based society, knowledgeanother two-thirds are lost as they evaporate has to be understood as more than mere22 WANA Forum Report 2010
  24. 24. information – information does not People have a strong sense of identity andnecessarily lead to wisdom. The true wealth solidarity which is of considerable value.of nations relies on social cohesion and Tackling such problems requireshuman capital, not just macroeconomic dialogue, an open exchange of views andindicators. Japan and Korea, for example, strategies to manage social risks, such asare not endowed with natural resources, but employment and systematic marginalisation.their cohesion has succeeded in generating In his last years of exile, even Napoleongreat wealth. Bonaparte came to the conclusion that in the Dr. Serageldin spoke of the difficulty long run, the sword is always beaten by theof confronting situations where there is mind. Social and human capital is the glueno right answer, and quoted Amartya Sen that holds societies together.who showed that theissue of justice is verymuch at the heart ofdevelopment. Thedilemma is summedup in a story toldby Sen in which hesuggests that wemeet three children,and between them,they have but oneflute. The flute canjustifiably be givento the one with thegreatest need, theone who producedit, or the one whocan put it to bestuse. These threeperceptions of theissue of fairness touchupon the principlesof equity, utility,and entitlement,within certaincapability domains.But whatever thecase, whether or nota definitive answercan be found isless important thanrecognising that theseproblems need to beengaged with; theycannot be ignored. WANA Forum Report 2010 23
  25. 25. 4 Photo credit: The Yemen Times regional tHemes and Priorities oF tHe wana ForumL akhdar Brahimi, Former Special Advisor to the UN Secretary General and Foreign Minister of Algeria, openedthe session by noting that the previoussession had been very substantive and given vulnerabilities, and issues such as unemployment and poverty, food security and nutrition, as well as health and human security. This is because there is a prevalent misunderstanding regarding the nature ofall participants plenty of food for thought. money and credit in the world. The prevalentParticipants were challenged to wake up idea is that markets provide the fundingnot only to the serious problems faced by needed and that money or credit is subjectthe region, but also to the opportunities that to market forces of supply and demand likeexist, as long as people in the region are a commodity. However, it is not the resultdetermined to work together sooner rather of market exchange. In fact it is the verythan later. He expressed his hope that the existence of credit prior to having moneypanelists in this second session would take that makes it possible to engage in marketthe morning’s discussions one step further by activity: credit creates economic activity.considering the regional priorities for WANA Ms. Pettifor explained how “fountain penin their respective fields. money” – some US$160 billion of it – were created by the Federal Reserve to bail out theAnn Pettifor, Director of Advocacy American International Group (AIG). MoneyInternational and Fellow of the New in banks is not tangible or visible, it is not aEconomics Foundation (NEF), opened her commodity like gold, tulips or oil, and therepresentation by noting she will try to answer is no limit to the availability of bank moneyIsmail Serageldin’s earlier question as to due to the unlimited ability to create credit.where the region would get the money People already use less and less tangiblefrom to address several of the challenges money, such as coins and notes, in theiridentified. She stressed that the region can daily transactions: only two per cent of totalafford to tackle economic and environmental money used is cash.24 WANA Forum Report 2010
  26. 26. It has been said that the purpose of is by effectively borrowing from the future.banks is to allow people to save money, WANA countries will require above-which others can then borrow, whereas in average level policy changes to bring theirfact there has for a long time already been a ecological footprint to a sustainable level,negative correlation between net saving and whilst keeping in mind that in the long term,net borrowing. John Maynard Keynes once physical laws always prevail over politicalsaid, “We can afford what we can create.” goals. As an example, Professor MeadowsIn other words, economic activity generates cited the growing Carbon Dioxide emissions.saving; it is not constrained by savings. The basic formula for calculating the volumeThere is no constraint on finance; the only of those emissions in terms of natural capitalconstraint is potential economic activity. This is multiplying the number of people byis because inflation would result in the event their capital and by the energy requiredof more finance than potential economic per capital unit by the fraction of energyactivity. Money is a social construct, invented used from fossil fuels. This basically showsto make transactions easier, and the money that as long as the size of a populationsystem is created on a foundation of trust in and their ambition to a higher standard ofthe banking system. living continue, emissions will grow since improved efficiency and alternative fuelsDennis Meadows, President of the Laboratory alone will not be able to balance out thosefor Interactive learning and Professor increases. He argued that the time of greatestEmeritus for Policy Systems, University of stress for the world will be between theNew Hampshire and co-author of The Limits years 2000 and 2030, and that the coming 15to Growth, noted that, put simplistically, years will see more changes in all aspects ofsolving problems in the WANA region is human life than have been seen in the pastdependent on the ability of governments in 100 years. In conclusion, Professor Meadowsthe region to meet people’s demands. He noted that actions are much more importantargued that there are two solutions: either than words.people need to get more of what they want,or they need to want less. There is a need Zafar Adeel, Director of the United Nationsto think about the relationship between University Institute for Water, Environmentpolitics and physical reality: global society is and Health in Canada, made a case for usingusing energy and raw materials at above the water as a development lever to bring aboutsustainable levels, in particular in the WANA some of the changes called for by previousregion. There is a need to make a transition speakers. The entire WANA region suffersback below the level of sustainability, from water scarcity. An examination ofwhich in turn requires different goals, new water consumption in the region clearlytechnologies and revised ethics.The ecological footprint is a wayto measure the impact of people WANA countries will require above-on the environment: in 1972, theaverage human footprint was average level policy changes to bringroughly 80 per cent of what can their ecological footprint to a sustainablebe sustainably used, whereastoday it is at about 140 per cent. level. In the long term, physical lawsThe only way in which it is always prevail over political goalspossible to go above 100 per cent WANA Forum Report 2010 25
  27. 27. in the broadest sense are in the People are over-exploiting the fields of maternal and childcare,capacity of their natural systems to school attendance and education, and poverty elimination. None ofprovide water. People are behaving the Millennium Development Goalslike teenagers with credit cards, can be met without water.spending money they do not have and Habiba Al-Marashi, Chairperson ofexpecting someone to pay the bill the Emirates Environmental Group, presented the work of the Emiratesshows that people are over-exploiting the Environmental Group, which iscapacity of their natural systems to provide a civil society organisation, established inwater. People are behaving like teenagers 1991, with the aim of raising environmentalwith credit cards, spending money they do awareness through education for sustainablenot have and expecting someone to pay the development. She noted that education forbill. He also noted that climate change will sustainable development includes learningmake the situation in the WANA region even about what is needed to maintain andworse. By the end of the 21st century, parts improve the quality of life for generationsof WANA will be up to 40 per cent drier than to come, equipping stakeholders to livethey are today, which will have a significant and act sustainably and understanding theimpact on sustainability. Dr. Adeel argued environmental, social and economic issuesthat the main drivers in the region are: 1) involved.population growth – almost all countries in Education for sustainable developmentthe region will experience significant growth has become a well known and widelyin size of population (up to double or triple accepted concept, and is considered ancurrent levels); 2) demographic problems important way to guarantee the wellbeing– a young population with some 50 per of humankind and nature alike. Althoughcent of the population under 20; and 3) the WANA region faces challenges, such asunemployment – persistent unemployment conflicts, scarce resources, infertile land, lowlevels of up to 25 per cent. The reason that water quality and supply, population growth,water is an important factor in addressing climate change and loss of biodiversity,these drivers is due to the interrelationship engaging the region’s youth, which constitutebetween water security, food security and a large percentage of the population, posesenergy security: a large part of food consists an opportunity to address these challenges.of water, and water is also an important Education that nurtures a strong sense ofsource of energy. Biofuels are a particularly environmental awareness can facilitate theimportant concern, because of the way they transition to a low-carbon economy.impact food security and water security. Ms. Al-Marashi stressed that creating a Investment in better management of new green generation will not transpirewater resources and the provision of safe overnight, but that sustained efforts arewater and adequate sanitation is needed. required. The Emirates Environmental GroupThe economic development lever of water is taking several steps to promote educationis threefold: 1) mobilising the economic for sustainable development, but involvingempowerment of communities; 2) demand educational institutions and promoting themanagement; and 3) enabling policies. The environment as a fundamental subject inlinks of water security to human wellbeing both academic and extra-curricular activities26 WANA Forum Report 2010
  28. 28. are a top priority. The Group runs numerous social networking sites in particular, leavingeducational projects, such as workshops them vulnerable to extreme and negativefor teachers, students, inter-school and elements. They are exposed to the struggles,inter-college public speaking competitions, abuse and injustices that exist around theand environmental drawing competitions. world. They also see their parents, andFuture WANA needs not only the collective society at large, deal with injustices at home,synergy of smart and wise people, but also class divides, persecution, discrimination,people with a strong sense of social and corruption, hypocrisy, and most of all, non-environmental responsibility. action’ by leaders. This leaves many of them disillusioned, desperately looking for hope,Salma Abbasi, Chairperson and CEO of and searching for a shared identity and sensee Worldwide Group, emphasised the of belonging for a common cause. Throughimportance of engaging youth, the digital the Internet, they find role models, makingcommunity and innovative strategic friends with people in the digital world,partnerships with business communities which often leaves them vulnerable andwhile also creating integrated and susceptible to unknown risks.interlocked policies. Ms. Abbasi stressed the importance She suggested that one aim of the WANA of providing youth access to positiveForum is to benefit and address the issues, role models and leaders who are activelyconcerns and frustrations of youth in the engaged in turning around the injustices ofregion. Therefore, the youth need to be the world. She suggested that work needsengaged in designing solutions and building to be done to create a united borderlessthe roadmap for WANA as they are the global digital community that promotesdrivers of change. understanding, ethics, respect, peace, Ms. Abbasi noted that youth are spending harmony and humanity across the WANAmore and more time on the Internet and on region and beyond. WANA Forum Report 2010 27
  29. 29. They see their parents deal with injustices at home, classdivides, persecution, discrimination, corruption, hypocrisy andnon-action by leaders. This leaves many of them disillusioned,desperately looking for hope and searching for a shared identityand sense of belonging for a common cause The digital community is a vehicle for to wait for new solutions to be developed.mobilising social cohesion. It gives access It would be important to start developingto the excluded and a voice to the voiceless policies now and make best use of existingand marginalised. It can also be used to technologies.mobilise the next generation in a positive Participants also noted that technologymanner to give them hope, inspiration and alone would not be sufficient for addressingmotivation that will help foster a global environmental degradation in the region,behavioural change. Thus, she emphasised and that the environment should be seen asthe need to join forces across the globe on a cross-cutting theme that affects all areas ofcommon issues and grievances by engaging development.women and youth as part of the solution, Social workers are responsible forsince they are currently untapped. bringing about change in people’s behaviour, Technology today supports the and it was suggested that the WANA Forumknowledge economy and leverages best develop a strategy for empowering socialpractices to allow for the creation of a workers to teach new generations to behavefair and better society that can build the more for sustainable social cohesion. The potential of employing nuclear Ms. Abbasi concluded by emphasising technology for addressing energy and waterthe importance of strategic partnerships with problems in the WANA region was communities for out-of-the-box It was noted that realising projects such asthinking for job creation and innovation. employing nuclear power to desalinate seaShe also stressed the need for a holistic water at the coast and pumping it furtherframework of policy development to help inland would require the resolution oftranslate rhetoric into action. To do so, conflicts in the region.she said, policy development needs to be Pricing water was identified as astrategic, practical and inter-linked, inter- politically sensitive issue: it would belocked and interwoven with the economy, important to come to grips with the real costenvironment and society and continuously of water but access to water for the poormeasured and monitored. She also would need to be guaranteed.highlighted the need to create achievable Finally, the need for society to reclaim thetargets that yield progress and provide a system for creating credit from the privatesense of accomplishment. sector was acknowledged as a way to ensure it would be used to promote sustainableComments and Recommendations development, such as developing decentIt was noted that there are already many urban living environments instead of justtechnologies that could be employed to large urban construction projects.address carbon footprint; it is not necessary28 WANA Forum Report 2010
  30. 30. 5Photo credit: Adam Pattıson launcH oF tHe arabic rePort oF tHe legal emPowerment oF tHe Poor: making tHe law work For everyone E l Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the WANA Forum and Commissioner on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, chaired the launch of the Arabic Report of the Legal Empowerment of the Poor often the greatest victims of poverty. Surely, zakat, in its broader understanding could help, but solutions are needed that empower people to break the cycle of poverty and all forms of exclusion that come with it. (LEP): Making the Law Work for Everyone. Four billion inhabitants of today’s In his opening remarks, he confirmed world are statistically poor. They have that human capital is the most important been left out from any economic scheme pillar on which countries depend for their and development agenda, rendering them continuity and survival. If this human capital without any contribution to their societies. is grounded or depleted, it will be reflected The effect of such exclusion and its in the advancement of society or render any implications on the stability and security of development an illusion. societies is very clear. All of humanity stands His Royal Highness also stated that to lose if four billion human beings remain poverty does not only mean material outside any inclusive formula. No society can poverty. Everything that limits the power prosper, or even progress, if people are not of humanity – psychologically, physically effective stakeholders of their own futures. It and spiritually – is part of poverty. Any is the essence of citizenship. infringement on anyone’s rights by restraint, Only practical considerations will allow oppression and denial is poverty. It extends society to move from words to actions and beyond hunger, thirst, famine, epidemics, this is the core of the principle of Making desertification and so on. the Law Work for Everyone, and the concept The uprooted (refugees, displaced of the Legal Empowerment of the Poor. The persons, migrants and people uprooted report contains practical and implementable from their land due to climate change, wars, mechanisms, tables and strategies that could conflicts and different forms of tyranny) are lead to access to justice, property rights, WANA Forum Report 2010 29