On May 28 and 29, 2023, CRDF Global hosted the Virtual Symposium on Water and Resource Management Using Isotopic Techniques in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This Virtual Symposium, a part of the Sustained Dialogue on Peaceful Uses (SDPU) program, was the first installment of a three-part workshop series focusing on water safety and security.

CRDF Global collaborated with the Water Authority of Jordan (WAJ), the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST), the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and other experts from the region to examine the state of water resource management in MENA and how best to expand water safety and security cooperation in the region. In convening global and regional stakeholders, the webinar generated discussion on how the SDPU can enhance existing work and enable new projects in pursuit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The session was opened by Ms. Holly Haines of the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero who stressed the fact that there exists a tremendous opportunity to enhance cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear technology. Ms. Haines provided historical background for the SDPU program and highlighted that peaceful uses play a vital role in serving the world’s energy, health, and agricultural needs, contributing to lower- and middle-income countries’ national welfare and helping achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Two days of presentations and discussions featured representation from WAJ, JUST, the IAEA, Morocco’s National Center for Energy, Sciences and Nuclear Techniques (CNESTEN), the University of Tunis El Manar’s Faculty of Sciences, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), the International Water Resource Association (IWRA), and Tunisia’s National Center for Nuclear Sciences and Technologies (CNSTN). Ms. Christine Martin of the U.S. Department of State closed by reiterating that the SDPU aims to reduce siloed thinking and better link peaceful uses work with the objectives of the UN SDGs. She underpinned that diversity is key to having an all-inclusive discussion on these issues and to bolster new cooperation between participants.

This event and the wider SDPU program are organized with the U.S. Department of State’s office of Multilateral Nuclear and Security Affairs (MNSA) and the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) and operate in coordination with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The SDPU, operated by CRDF Global, aims to expand the conversation on peaceful uses of nuclear science and identify opportunities for using nuclear technology in pursuit of the United Nations SDGs. For more information about this program, check out the event page.