Category: Events-reports

On the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, The Bridge Tank contributes to diplomatic, civil society and business events.

After two years of global pandemic, the United Nations General Assembly resumed in September 2022. As it is traditionally the case, this very active week will see the gathering of heads of state and government in New York, as well as numerous events organized by the diplomatic, civil society and business communities. On this occasion, The Bridge Tank was present and contributed to these three exchange mechanisms.

Active with the diplomatic community, The Bridge Tank has taken part in a number of events.

As an observer member of Liberal International (LI), The Bridge Tank, represented by Dr. Joël Ruet, President, attended the official high-level event co-organized by LI and “The Alliance of Her” on the theme: Women’s political rights and leadership – the key to tackling the greatest global challenges of our time. The Alliance of Her is a platform dedicated to promoting women’s political leadership and equal representation in Europe, a round table that included our board member, Hakima El Haite, President of LI.

Ahead of this roundtable, Hakima El Haite presented the 2021 Liberal International Freedom Prize to Dr. Sima Samar, Former UN Rapporteur and former Minister of Women’s Affairs of Afghanistan. Throughout her career, Dr. Samar has consistently championed the cause of women and girls and promoted the inclusion of Afghan women.

Participants included: Sima Sami Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women, Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of Ukraine, Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister, Kingdom of Belgium, Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Speaker of the Seimas (Parliament), Lithuania, Meryl L. Frank, American Diplomat and Board Member of the United States Holocaust Memorial and Juli Minoves, former President of LI.

The Bridge Tank also participated in a closed meeting organized by the Estonian Permanent Mission to the United Nations on the theme: “Crisis in Belarus: implications for regional and global security” around Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the democratic opposition Belarusian, who was able to exchange with various diplomatic representations at the United Nations. The Bridge Tank was alongside, among others, the Swedish, German, British, United States representations, the European Union to the United Nations and the Microsoft Foundation and the PEN Foundation for this meeting chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Estonian foreigners.

Thanks to its network and its actions, The Bridge Tank allowed the meeting between our board member, Hakima El Haité, President of the Liberal International and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, leader of the Belarusian democratic opposition.

With civil society, The Bridge Tank joined meetings in favor of the fight against climate change, in particular on the question of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), being one of the key subjects of this 77th General Assembly. United Nations. This year’s “SDG Moment” is an opportunity to refocus attention on the SDGs of the UN’s 2030 Agenda, a blueprint for a fairer future for people and the planet.

Joël Ruet particularly contributed his expertise during a lunch debate organized by Diplomatic Courier. These exchanges allowed reflection around the following questions: are we on the right track to achieve the SDGs by 2030? How has the pandemic accelerated or derailed solutions? How do our goals (individual and organizational) align with the SDGs? How to create extraordinary collaborations? Global Goals in Action 2022 will bring together leaders from the private sector and international organizations to leverage their experience, market access and resources to achieve the SDGs. Thus, the participants agreed to conclude on “the need for transformational change [of our societies] to make progress on the SDGs”.

In a continuation of the discussions on the SDGs, Joël Ruet took part in the annual Concordia 2022 Summit, which was, according to the organizers, the largest gathering on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. It aims to bring together the world’s biggest players to spark dialogue, promote collaboration and collectively pave the way to a more equitable and sustainable future around the themes of: environmental sustainability; global trade, manufacturing and supply chains; human rights and social progress; and financial inclusion.

On these topics and around the Nobel Peace Prize, The Bridge Tank participated in a meeting organized by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The Bridge Tank has also been involved in the business world, first of all by participating in the “Invest Africa” forum, where its President, Joël Ruet, was able to meet a number of investment actors in Africa, in particular in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia – two countries in full transformation which deserve a very attentive scrutiny. He also attended a reception organized by Microscoft’s representation at the United Nations to discuss the evolution of the economic world.

AUKUS – The Bridge Tank in Conversation with Frank Wisner

Ambassador Frank Wisner, former USA under Secretary of Defense, puts AUKUS in context: a technological grouping of like-minded nations in front of China’s assertiveness, while remaining open to dialogue with China, and collaboration with Europe, India and others.

This conversation was conducted following a webinar, co-hosted by The Bridge Tank and the Maritime Research Center.

The Bridge Tank and the Maritime Research Center co-organized a webinar on: “Australia, United Kingdom and United States (AUKUS): A New Perspective based on the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework”

On June 30th, The Bridge Tank and the Maritime Research Center (MRC) co-organized a webinar titled “Australia, United Kingdom and United States (AUKUS): A New Perspective based on the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework”. This event aimed at bringing together the defense industry, maritime strategists, policy makers and others, to be able to reach out and build policy priority for the UDA framework both at the national and regional level. The interactions sought to strengthen the User-Industry-Academic partnership and encourage joint acoustic capacity and capability building at the national and regional level.

The importance of this webinar was to discuss the strategic, military and even political evolution of AUKUS 9 months after the creation of this alliance and also how the UDA framework can contribute? The event was planned to entail the participants’ point of view and shared their experiences about the policy issues, technological means, innovative tools and measures, geopolitics, geoeconomics, organizations aspects both nationally and globally.

This virtual round table gathered high ranking guests.

First, the Amb Y K Sinha is an Indian diplomat who belongs to the Indian Foreign Services and is the former High Commissioner to UK & Sri Lanka. After retiring from foreign services, he was first appointed as Central Information Commissioner on 1 January 2019 and was subsequently sworn in as the Chief Information Commissioner of India on 7 November 2020. He opened the webinar by giving an overview of the geopolitical context in the new global order. He highlighted that the security aspect is prominent and it is important to consider it in order to avoid any ripple effect in every sectors. He also mentioned that India is ready to provide support to neighborhood.

Secondly, Dr (Cdr) Arnab Das is an ex Naval officer with 2 decades of active services and PhD holder from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi with specialization in Underwater Acoustics. He has worked on several projects and has a plethora of publications to his credit. Dr Das is the author of a book titled “Marine Eco-concern and its Impact on the Indian Maritime Strategy”, which was supported by the Indian Maritime Foundation and was published in February 2017. He insisted on that fact that the UDA is particularly meaningful given the AUKUS alliance has a strong submarine dimension. Geopolitical evolution and crises remind us of UDA importance. The underwater domain, or even, the maritime domain awareness is rarely debated in international discussions.

Thirdly, Vice Admiral A R Karve is a retired Indian Navy Vice Admiral. Param Vishisht Seva Medal (PVSM) and Ati Vishisht Seva Medal (AVSM) were awarded to Vice Admiral AR Karve. He last served as the 27th Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief Southern Naval Command. His presentation highlighted the strategic aspects of the region. He has highlighted the need to ensure stability in the region face to the expansion of the Chinese maritime influence, in particular the expansion of Chinese submarines. He has also emphasized that several initiatives and tools exist to ensure stability, but that more needs to be done, notably concerning the UDA. He concluded by saying that the AUKUS and the QUAD can contribute to maritime stability and promote the UDA.

Fourth, Mr. Vishal Thapar is the Group Editorial Head at Businessworld. He was formerly associated with Hindustan Times, and prominent news channels CNN-IBN and NewsX. He is the founder-editor of armingindia.com, India’s first portal on the business and politics of India’s defense trade. He gave an analysis of the international agenda, of the solutions to be put forward, particularly in terms of technology, but also, of the Chinese context in the region.

Last but not least, Dr. Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank, concluded the webinar by developing a series of open questions to be raised in further webinars or close door discussions, insisting on identifying the right format to dialogue and the importance of technology to be rethought.

This webinar was conducted by Ms. Malaurie Le Bail, Analyst and program coordinator at The Bridge Tank, in the continuity of the project on the blue economy in the Bay of Bengal. This event was another opportunity to keep the dialogue going on maritime issues and on the Indo-Pacific with the MRC.

This webinar was very comprehensive and educational with high quality exchanges. All the panelists agreed on the fact that the MRC is playing a great role in pushing the concept of UDA.

Please find here the concept note of the webinar for more details.

European tour OMVS – The Bridge Tank for the promotion of hydrodiplomacy

The Bridge Tank has partnered with the OMVS (Senegal River Development Organization) for a European tour to promote hydro-diplomacy which took place from June 9 to 24, 2022 in Geneva, Oslo, The Hague, Paris and Brussels. Hamed SEMEGA, High Commissioner of the OMVS and member of the Board du Bridge Tank, and Joël RUET, President of the Bridge Tank, met with many interlocutors to discuss topics related to hydrodiplomacy: the international law of international water resources, sustainable hydro-development, peace built by the shared management of cross-border basins, or even the preservation of the headwaters of major rivers.

The Bridge Tank and the OMVS have decided to organize a workshop on these issues next fall with all the actors with whom they have exchanged and by extending it to many political leaders and associations.

This tour follows the joint work carried out during the World Water Forum 2022, in which The Bridge Tank was associated. The OMVS was then honored with the Hassan II Grand Prize for water. According to the jury, the West African organization based in Dakar, which brings together Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea, was distinguished for its action in favor of the “achievement of water and food security” of the greater basin. cross-border, but also for its action for “peace, prosperity and territorial development” of its member countries. Hydrodevelopment and hydrodiplomacy have indeed been at the heart of the organization’s model. The OMVS has, in fact, operated for more than 50 years independently of national or international tensions in the region it covers; it served as a model for the revitalization of its sister organization for the Gambia River, and the organization regularly receives visits from river organizations from all over the world, including Central Asia.

Water issues, in particular those around basins, are generally tackled in a utilitarian approach, i.e. through access to water. This vision is consensual within international organizations and at international events. However, the pessimistic evolution of aquifer ecosystems impacted by climate change raises the question of the sustainability of these resources.

It is in this perspective, rooted in international and UN legal aspects, that the delegation began its tour in Geneva during the conference “Lessons and perspectives on water cooperation for Africa and Europe: from the Forum from Dakar in 2022 to the United Nations Water Conference in 2023 at the Palais des Nations. Mr. Semega thus presented the work and the potential of the OMVS, which is often recognized as a model organization, on the organizational, political, legal and investment levels.

To deepen the subject, the delegation then met Professor Mads Adenaes, specialist in international law at the University of Oslo in Norway. This exchange was an opportunity to discuss the perspectives of international water law. They insisted on the fact that water must be approached in a holistic way, as a common good, that is to say that water must no longer only be an object of rivalry between powers, but be a good vital common to share. This is what basin organizations seek to advocate, which do not focus on the state scale, but on the resource scale.

In terms of hydrodevelopment, water is a major element of ecosystems, societies and economies, which is why it is necessary for their proper development. Mr. Semega had the opportunity to discuss with actors from the world of development, in particular Mrs. Marie-Noëlle Reboulet, President of GERES and Mr. Pierre Jacquemot, President of the Initiatives Group, whose core business is energy solidarity, Climate and Social Affairs and Mr. Lars Andreas Lunde, Head of the Nature and Climate Section of the Norwegian Development Agency, NORAD. These structures have made it possible to draw the following conclusion: a multitude of solutions exist on the ground, with a strong bottom-up dimension, which requires greater knowledge, consultation and coordination to act and share know-how.

The discussions were fruitful to the point of organizing a new meeting with GERES and the Initiatives Group of which the OMVS is a member, in the coming weeks. These discussions were also able to continue thanks to the organization of a side event in Brussels, by The Bridge Tank and the OMVS, during the “Africa Energy Forum” on the theme “Water-energy infrastructure for peace in the Sahel”, in the presence of Minister Amal Mint Maouloud, former Mauritanian Minister of Equipment and Transport, Mr. Abdoulaye Dia, Managing Director of SEMAF/OMVS and Mr. Romain Cres, Economic Development Specialist within GERES.

The actions of the OMVS are carried out in favor of peace, since according to the High Commissioner “whoever knows how to share water, can share everything”. This message was repeated many times during the European tour, in particular during the meeting with the Prime Minister, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, President of Leaders for Peace.

Mr. Raffarin and Mr. Semega agreed on the importance and role of basin organizations in contributing to hydrodiplomacy and peace in the world. Hydrodiplomacy has a more global dimension than hydropolitics, which remains reserved for States. Hydrodiplomacy underlines the idea that the management of water and basins is no longer the business of the States, but of everyone around a resource within the territories.

On this subject, The Bridge Tank was at the initiative of a working lunch between the High Commissioner and Mr. Erik Orsenna, President of the Initiative for the Future of the Great Rivers (IAGF) in the presence of influential personalities in the field around the situation of natural resources in West Africa and hydrodiplomacy in the Senegal River Basin, on the occasion of which our Board Member Ambassador Stéphane Gompertz and Me Jean-Claude Beaujour were present.

Last but not least, the delegation held working meetings with the Norwegian Cooperation Agency, the Ministry of International Cooperation in The Hague, IOWater and the International Network of Basin Operators and the STOA infrastructure investment fund in Paris.

On its own continent, the OMVS has been entrusted, within the International Association of River Basin Operators, with the technical secretariat of the association bringing together its active members on the African continent. As peace goes through development but also through democratic decisions, the OMVS has set up a committee of river basin users, an original body for open consultation with civil society. Aware of its responsibilities, the OMVS, an organization which was created in 1972, is today engaged in a forward-looking reflection on its future, and on the future of its contribution to Africa and to the world.

In this context, the exchange tour with peers, experts and leaders from all areas of society in all the capitals of peace and the areas of river innovation, nature conservation and in particular source river ecosystems, aims to share the results of this success story with stakeholders from the United Nations GA, the African Union, the academic and civil society communities, work with which The Bridge Tank is associated.

The Bridge Tank joins the Think 7 in Berlin

The Think7 Summit, which took place on May 23-24 2022 in Berlin, is organized by the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and the Global Solutions Initiative (GSI), as think tanks mandated for the Think7 process during the German G7 presidency in 2022. It is organized in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and the Aspen Institute Germany. More than 300 participants attended this event, mainly in-person.

Dr. Joël Ruet, President, The Bridge Tank was among the participants, notably on the first day, where the task forces in which The Bridge Tank is active were discussed: Climate and Environment, Sustainable Economic Recovery and International cooperation for the global common good.

In the presence of the German Federal Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the event was organized around the recommendations developed in the T7 communiqué, which are the following:

  1. Strong alliances for a sustainable planet.
  2. Setting the course for economic stability and transformation in response to the consequences of the COVID-19.
  3. Enhanced preparedness for healthy lives.
  4. Stronger together.
  5. Sustainable investments in a better future.

Among many interesting high level guests, Joël Ruet paid particular attention to the words of Minister Wolfgang Schmidt, Head of the Federal Chancellery underlying the importance of inviting Africa to G7 decisions. Also, Mr. Ruet shared the idea developed by Dennis J. Snower, President, Global Solutions Initiative (GSI) and Co-Chair Think7 Germany that insisted on the necessity of strengthening the multilateralism as the world order has recently been brutalized by Russian in the War in Ukraine. In the same idea, Dr. Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General, Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) explained that international institutions, such as G7 and G20 have to adapt and be revisited in terms of delivery regarding the geopolitical context.

Joël Ruet participates in a webinar on “COP26 and the Brahmaputra: A New Perspective based on the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework”

Our President, Joël Ruet participated in the webinar on May 5th, 2022 on the topic “COP26 and the Brahmaputra: A New Perspective Based on the Underwater Domain Awareness (UDA) Framework”. This is the 5th in a series of webinars organized by the Maritime Research Center and M/S NirDhwani Technology Pvt Ltd.

His participation was an opportunity to continue the conversation on the blue economy started with key stakeholders, such as the Maritime Research Center.

As there are many solutions on « environmental engineering » coming from the global south towards river aspects, in particular from the Indo-African side, Joël Ruet suggested enhancing cross learning in terms of environment and engineering, notably water storage for hydroelectricity, navigation regulation and velocity regulation can have a positive impact on avoiding disasters and protecting biodiversity. At the condition of a step by step learning. The COP26 that dealt about integration of environment to adaptation and adaptation to mitigation towards cobenefits and nature based solutions opened an avenue and Joel Ruet has high hopes for the next COP which will be held in Egypt in November. Thanks to the various exchanges about the Brahmaputra region, he was able to appreciate the vast amount of knowledge that should be shared during COP 27 – “We must learn from the experience of Brahmaputra”.

The Bridge Tank at the BOAO Forum for Asia 2022: Promote Energy Integration and Build Green World

The BOAO 2022 Forum was held from April 20 to 22 in a hybrid mode, aiming to conduct an open dialogue in a post-COVID world and on the prospects of common development in the world of tomorrow.

Since 2018, The Bridge Tank has participated in the annual “Chinese Davos” event. Our President, Joel Ruet spoke at a high-level panel in the presence of Mr. Ali Obaid Al Dhaheri, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to China, Mr. Baodong Li, Secretary General, BOAO Forum and former Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Mr. Mr. Jizhen Liu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering and Director of State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, Mr. Hailiang Song, President of China Energy Engineering Group Co, Mr. Jianhua Hu, President of China Merchants Group and Mr. Haiping Xiang, Chief Engineer of China National Energy Administration.

In his speech, Joël Ruet spoke about the global issues related to energy integration and trajectories. He stressed the importance of “deep decarbonation technologies” in accelerating net zero emissions by 2035-2040. Until then, he added that each country or territory will have a role to play to have its own “transition trajectory”, not only adding renewable energies but also integrating them into the networks with a more rational and efficient use.

Joël Ruet addressed the issue of adaptation, which must no longer be looked separately from other issues. He illustrated his remarks through the example of carbon sinks, which have be created from optimized ecosystems everywhere, not only in forests, but also in savannahs or mangroves.

Dr. Ruet also demonstrated that energy trajectories are already low-carbon, which is particularly the case for Africa and most of the G77 countries. It is important that these trajectories are recognized as such and therefore funded by the North and that technology and know-how transfers are funded accordingly.

In response to the question of how to implement global support to energy trajectories of the global south, the President of The Bridge Tank proposed two solutions: first, allow the South to manage itself with more funding to create local champions, keep the gas trade open to them, and ensure that their carbon sinks are recognized as an incentive to develop them; and second, enable their local financial entities to play a larger role by recognizing that “risks” are over rated there in comparison to actually high profitability.

As in the 2021 edition, Joël Ruet was one of the three French speakers, representing the circle of Think Tanks, alongside Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Henry Giscard D’Estaing, who respectively represented the political and economic worlds.

Read here the agenda of the BOAO Forum 2022.

Analytical report: China’s value chain strategy on cobalt – lessons for EU

Strategic materials are ubiquitous in all sectors relevant for the green economy and the energy transition. Regarding cobalt, it owes its current visibility to its increasing use in low carbon technologies, also called green technologies (renewable energy and rechargeable batteries). Cobalt is used as an input in the magnets of wind turbines, and for the production of the cathodes of lithium-ion and nickel metal hydride batteries, which are then incorporated in electric or hybrid vehicles. In the current context of the electrification of mobility, cobalt is therefore regarded as a strategic material. The production of cobalt is however one of the prime examples of the unequal distribution of the earth’s resources, the metal being extremely concentrated in one country: the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who represents 70% of global production, and the DRC’s reserved are controlled substantially by what has now become an unavoidable actor in the cobalt value chain: China.

As a continuation of our work on analysis China’s materials strategy, we have developed a report to analysis how China has imposed itself on the cobalt value chain, both upstream and downstream, and has progressively managed to build itself a comparative, if not absolute, advantage. This report aims to conduct a combined analysis of the strategies that have been implemented both by the Chinese government as well as industrial actors in order to gain this hegemonic position on the value chain. These strategies have allowed for the constitution of a resilient and dominant Chinese ecosystem around the cobalt value chain on the international stage.

Read our report here

The Bridge Tank participates in the 9th World Water Forum – Dakar 2022

On the occasion of the 9th World Water Forum, which was held in Dakar, Senegal from March 21 to 26, 2022, The Bridge Tank co-organized two events in favor of hydrodiplomacy and the preservation of major rivers . Joël Ruet, President of The Bridge Tank visited the site.

The Water Forum is the world’s largest gathering on water, bringing together participants from all levels and walks of life, including politics, multilateral institutions, academia, civil society and the private sector. The World Water Forum provides a unique platform where the international water community and key decision-makers can collaborate and make long-term progress on global water challenges.

Active and present during the Forum, a first SPECIAL SESSION was co-constructed with the OMVS (Organization for the development of the Senegal River), the OMVG (Organization for the development of the Gambia River) and the IAGF (Initiatives for the Future of the Great Rivers) on the theme “Massif du Fouta Djallon: visions and actions for the safeguard of the “water tower of West Africa””. The main objective of the special session was to establish a dynamic of exchange and the germ of a future joint working group bringing together the diversity of actors regulating the course of the major rivers flowing from the Fouta Djallon Massif, organizations in charge of sustainable development and the implementation of climate resilience of the populations downstream of the Massif, and having at heart to anchor the sustainability of their initiatives in the protection and the social and environmental climate resilience of the “water tower of West Africa”. Based on the sharing of experience around practices of development, enhancement, preservation, this session aims to identify the best regional practices, concerted action avenues from existing programs or scheduled activities. Beyond the sharing of experience, the session aimed to identify gaps and propose shared orientations for a better knowledge and coordinated action of the actors. In the preparation of this session and the choice of the activities put forward, several criteria were targeted:

  • effectiveness on the preservation and reconstitution of natural resources or the implementation of sustainable development;
  • potential for synergies and scaling up;
  • financeability accelerated by expected developments in climate finance.

This special session made it possible to discuss the treatment of a shared territory: an exchange of experience between the large basin agencies and development organizations of the major rivers from this region in a logic, the actors of traditional development, the agencies and actors specializing in the preservation of resources integrated into development, exchange platforms on traditional measures adapted to the preservation of source heads, targeted reforestation programs, or even the mobilization of measurement and modeling systems.

Among our guests of honor were present HE ISSOUFOU Mahamadou, former President of Niger, President of the Issoufou Mahamadou Foundation and Mr. Erik ORSENNA, French Academy, President, Initiatives for the Future of the Great Rivers and testified to the global lessons learned useful for the Fouta Djallon Massif during inaugural speeches.

Sékou SANGARE, Commissioner, Economic Community of West African States, Mr. Lansana FOFANA, High Commissioner, Organization for the Development of the Gambia River, Mr. Abdallah BOUREIMA, Executive Secretary, Niger Basin Authority , Mr. Hamed Diane SEMEGA, High Commissioner, OMVS, Mrs. Houria Tazi SADEQ, President, Moroccan Water Coalition, Mr. Komlan SANGBANA, Legal Advisor to the Secretariat of the United Nations Water Convention, Mr. Fawzi BEDREDINE, Coordinator, OMVS, Mr. Mamadou DIALLO, International Advisor, International Union for Conservation of Nature also spoke during this event.

Two panels were organized: Panel 1 – Fouta Djallon issues and perspectives and Panel 2 – Scientific solutions, tools and actors for Fouta Djallon. To find out more, please find the program for the special session of March 23, 2022 here.

A SIDE EVENT was then co-organized with the OMVS and the IAGF on the theme “Towards the “peace of the basins”: optimistic hydrodiplomacy and climate resilience”. Hydrodiplomacy has been an emerging concept for several years, largely stemming from the observation of rivalries over water and even the risks of “water wars”. This session aimed to:

  • conceptually highlight the potential for building peace through hydrodiplomacy, noting on the contrary the opportunity for “peace of the basins”;
  • to highlight the best practices of technical, legal, organizational, economic and environmental tools at the base of a “concrete” hydrodiplomacy;
  • bring out consensus on the importance of the right level of integration of economic, technical, political actors… even representatives of the populations at cross-border level.

This session aimed at the following outputs:

  • List of good practices and institutional and technical innovations that can serve as a basis for a future ‘catalogue of good practices in hydrodiplomacy’;
  • Identification of the difficulties, opportunities, risks and associated timeframes, the beginnings of a reflection on the financability of these actions by environmental finance;
  • Debate on the desirability of a future “global academy of hydrodiplomacy and peace in the basins”.

By dint of documenting the many cases in the world of risking river waters and the life of rivers resulting from the rivalry of uses and leading to the risk of conflicts over water or feeding conflicts arising from water, the existing cases by the world of successful management, partial or global, of these disputes, are insufficiently documented or little disseminated. A prospective synthesis work can be initiated by this ecosystem and this session aims to legitimize existing self-referrals in this area by bringing together key players with a proactive, upstream vision of the integration of basins at the service of sustainable development, the regeneration of resources and peace. In anticipation of the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, a reflection on the contribution of large rivers to mitigation and adaptation must be carried out. This special session focused on the opportunities of the presence at the World Water Forum of various representatives of the major institutions and actors concerned, towards a possible ‘Dakar Declaration of Basin Peace’. 

This side event was divided into two panels: Panel 1 – Messages of Support for “Peace in the Basins”, in the presence of HE ISSOUFOU Mahamadou, former President of Niger, President of the Issoufou Mahamadou Foundation, Mr. Jean-Pierre RAFFARIN, former Prime Minister, France, President of Leaders for Peace, Ms. Hakima EL HAITE, President of Liberal International, former Deputy Minister of the Environment, Kingdom of Morocco, former United Nations Climate Champion, Mr. Erik ORSENNA , French Academy, President, Initiatives for the Future of Great Rivers and Mr. Hamed Diane SEMEGA, High Commissioner, Organization for the Development of the Senegal River; Panel 2 – Issues and tools of hydrodiplomacy, in the presence of major basin organizations. To find out more about this event, please find its program here.

On the sidelines of the workshops and conferences, our board member, Mr. Hamed Diane Semega, High Commissioner of the OMVS was awarded, on behalf of the organization, the Hassan II prize for water. According to the jury, the West African organization based in Dakar, which brings together Mali, Mauritania, Senegal and Guinea, was distinguished for its action in favor of the “achievement of water and food security” of the greater basin. cross-border, but also for its action for “peace, prosperity and territorial development” of its member countries. Hydrodevelopment and hydrodiplomacy have indeed been at the heart of the organization’s model.

Side event “From COP 26 Glasgow Commitments to COP 27 Egypt Opportunities: The MENA perspective Confirmation”: participation of our Board Members

On the occasion of the first edition of the UNFCCC MENA Climate Week, from 28th – 31st of March, hosted by the Government of United Arab Emirates, Liberal International, of which The Bridge Tank is a member has organized a virtual side event on 29th of March named: From COP 26 commitments to COP 27 opportunities: The MENA perspective.

The purpose of this event is to tackle the challenges and opportunities stemming from the shared commitment that was agreed at COP 26 in Glasgow, while looking ahead at COP 27 Egypt as an opportunity to increase ambitions. Moderated by the President of the Liberal International, UN High-level climate champion and our Board Member, Hakima El Haite asked a series of questions to each of the speakers.

Among them, our Board Member, Stéphane Gompertz was present in his capacity as former French Ambassador in African countries and Special Envoy for COP 21. He was first asked to give his perspective for the COP 27.

His vision for the next Conference of the Parties reflects the difficulties of raising the climate ambition and maintaining efforts in a context of tensions (COVID-19, War between Ukraine and Russia and War in Yemen). The different crises and current wars shift the priorities of the states and public spending. Money is spent more on wars than for climate action. The political ambitions aren’t now and won’t be as high as it was during the COP 21 and the COP 22. The COP 27, will take place in Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt, will have the difficult task of pushing the Parties’ effort to:

  • Help to pursuit government and public opinion to have a look in the future.
  • Push for solutions.
  • Continue to promote good practices in the field of adaptation.

Stéphane Gompertz then explained what should be done to keep the 1.5°C? He said that we have to look ahead. States act in the short and long term. Energy is a good example. In a short term basis, countries will use more fossil fuel. In a long term basis, we will see the positive effect on energy policy. For instance, France undertakes nuclear, without it, it won’t be enough effort to commit climate targets. However, the question of nuclear power is again debated in France in this electoral and the War between Ukraine and Russia context. But it is important to measure the risks over time: living with temperatures above 2-3°C or living with an energy mode low in CO2 emissions.

Mrs. Susana Rivero Baughman, who is the Foreign affairs and Cooperation Adviser at the Secretary of Climate Action, Government of Catalonia gave a short presentation of International Liberal’s action to Climate Justice Committee, which has recently adopted a policy paper “Liberal Perspectives on Climate Justice”. Mrs Baughman expressed the lack of actions between climate change and human rights and this is what the International Liberal is willing to do by developing a Policy Lab and strengthening their presence in COPs and international forums. She finally highlighted that the COP 27 will offer plenty of opportunities for Africa.

Mr. Sveinung Rotevatn, who is Former Minister of Climate and Environment in Norway, developed an evaluation form the COP26’s achievements. For Mr. Rotevatn the COP 26 was a success for 3 reasons:

  • Finish the Rule Book of the Paris Agreement, which constitutes a common framework among Parties.
  • Increase ambition. Bigger emitting countries increase their ambitions, most countries raise their ambitions in NCDs, the USA are back in the Paris Agreement and we keep the 1.5°C objective alive.
  • Sufficient commitment to increase finance: developing world can have confidence from the financing mechanisms. Industrial countries promise to double their climate finance. Pledges were made and it was well received from most developing countries.

He then explained that after 2 years of global pandemic, we have not lost the long term aspect of the climate crises. He then emphasized that Norway is one of the leading financiers and that the country will double its efforts in climate finance, notably for the preservation of tropical rainforest and mitigation and adaptation. He finally said that pollution tax is a necessary tool for a fair transition and support climate transition at country level, whereas at the global level, climate finance is a necessary tool.

Mrs Rania Al-Mashat, who is the Minister for International Cooperation of Egypt explained what will be the objectives and opportunities for the COP 27 in three messages:

  • The COP 27 is going to be impartial, even though this COP is organized in Africa.
  • Adaptation & resilience will be central and was one of the main outcomes from COP26.
  • Commitment to actions.

Mrs. Al-Mashat emphasized the outcomes from Glasgow, asking open questions that will need to be answered at COP 27.The private sector’s role need to be increased: “We are going from billions to trillions”. It is also important to think about how can we operationalize what it have been pledge. How to derisk green investments? How can we create opportunities for the blended finance? There is not enough operationalize projects financed. How can we leverage from successful countries and to replicate them?

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