The 3rd period of RCUWM’s activities (2019 to 2024) was launched on the occasion of its 10th Governing Board (GB) meeting in Tehran, at the Iran International Conference Center on 5 December 2019. The GB consists of representatives at the state level, from 15 countries in the wider region: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tajikistan and Turkey. Germany was invited in addition, to serve as a permanent GB member to support solutions for water problems. Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schultze nominated Harald Köthe, the director of the German UNESCO Category 2 Water Centre ICWRGC in Koblenz, to be the German representative. Several international organizations were also present and will contribute to the GB and RCUWM´s programme.
The broad and high level composition of the GB offers a big opportunity to promote and expand relations on transboundary water- related issues among the countries in the region. Climate change, water scarcity, severe drought trends and water quality are main drivers in all these countries. Led by the GB’s chairman, the Iranian Minister for Energy Dr. Ardakanian, the GB agreed on three main themes for long-term activities of the Centre (2019-2024): 1. Training and Capacity Development, 2. Joint Research and Technology Transfer, and 3. Networking and Information Sharing.
For the Centre’s medium-term programme (2019-2021), the following main themes were concluded: 1. Publishing Books and Producing Multimedia Presentations, 2.Joint Scientific Research on Water Issues in the Region, 3. Sharing Information and Technology Transfer, 4. Documenting Best Practices and Lessons Learned, 5. Conducting Training Courses and Technical Workshops and 6. Utilizing Information and Communication Technology. 11 projects were concluded within the scope of this programme.
Along with the GB meeting, a water and wastewater exhibition was held at the Iran International Conference Center, which was well received by the attendees of the GB meeting. The GB also met with H.E. Mr. Jahangiri, the Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Iran at Saadabad Palace, to discuss water-related issues and options for mutual cooperation.
The next GB meeting of RCUWM will be hosted by Tajikistan on 17 June 2020 in Dushanbe.