Malta’s Water Diplomacy

Produced By Ms Michelle Micallef, Date: Jul 29, 2020
 
Access to water is a continuing source of instability and conflict around the world. The modern world  has
already witnessed the use of water resources and infrastructure as a weapon of war in violent conflicts. The role of water diplomacy is to prevent and mitigate such tensions in order to sustain the link between water, security and peace. It aims to promote transboundary and integrated water management as well as effective water governance.

Water plays a cross-sectoral role in many other policies such as security, human rights, climate change, food security or energy. Therefore, water as a foreign policy issue requires an integrated approach. Water diplomacy has been a regular feature on EU Foreign Ministers’ agenda, where the link between water and climate diplomacy is stressed, as is the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with particular reference to SDG6. Gender also plays a role since women are thought to be most affected by water scarcity. Although several issues involving water conflicts involve political solutions, multilateral cooperation is essential to facilitate research and innovative solutions, and to promote partnerships.

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Water features frequently in Malta’s bilateral diplomacy thanks to our expertise in water management – this same expertise is also increasingly becoming important within our multilateral diplomacy as we seek to promote effective models of water management within international and regional fora. We are currently actively involved in the informal Group of Friends of Water in New York. Multilateral fora are important platforms for us to be able to share valuable experience and know how particularly in the context of our relations with SIDS, who are important partners for us on climate and ocean matters, as well as other coastal states in neighbouring Africa and the Middle East, and other regions of the world where water scarcity remains a challenge.  


M. Micallef
Officer in Scale 4