Elevating Women’s Leadership for Effective Transboundary Water Cooperation

June 20, 2023 1:00 pm — 2:30 pm
US Institute of Peace (Washington, DC)

In honor of the first anniversary of the International Day of Women in Diplomacy

An United States Institute of Peace, The Women in Water Diplomacy Network, Environmental Law Institute, & Stockholm International Water Institute Event

In honor of the first anniversary of the International Day of Women in Diplomacy, USIP and partners at the Environmental Law Institute and the Stockholm International Water Institute will reflect upon women’s leadership in water diplomacy from around the world. Women’s leadership in decision making is essential to effective transboundary water cooperation. Research shows that including women in peace processes makes agreements more durable and leads to lower instances of conflict. Despite this, less than 10 percent of negotiators in peace processes are women. In addition, women are specifically underrepresented in transboundary water management, especially at higher levels of decision-making. However, entities such as the Women in Water Diplomacy Network are looking to change this by supporting a community of practice focused on empowerment, peer to peer learning, and collective advocacy for formal and informal women water diplomats working in transboundary waters with a focus in conflict-sensitive regions such as the Nile Basin, Central Asia, and Afghanistan, among others. In this event, women water diplomats from the Network and beyond will discuss water conflict sensitivities, share lessons learned, and enumerate paths forward for peace including take-away’s from the Women in Water Diplomacy Network’s engagements at the recent UN Water Conference.

This event will be hosted in-person at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. and livestreamed online participation available. For in person and online registration please visit: https://www.usip.org/events/elevating-womens-leadership-effective-transboundary-water-cooperation.

See program and attached PDF below.

Indicative Program

  • Introductory remarks:
    • Kayly Ober, Senior Program Officer, Climate, Environment, and Conflict, USIP (confirmed)
  • Keynote:
    • Henk WJ Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs and Sherpa to the UN 2023 Water Conference, Kingdom of the Netherlands (confirmed)
  • Roundtable discussion followed by Q&A moderated by:
    • Elizabeth A. Koch, Senior Manager for International Programs, Environmental Law Institute, Process Support Lead for the Women in Water Diplomacy Network (confirmed)
  • Expert guest speakers:
    • Tanya Trujillo, Assistant Secretary for Water and Science, U.S. Department of Interior (confirmed)
    • Swathi Veeravalli, Director of Climate Security and Adaptation, National Security Council (confirmed)
    • Foman Forough, Former Director General of the Kabul River Basin, Afghanistan (confirmed)
    • Dr Zodwa Dlamini, South Africa’s former Chief Delegate and Permanent Representative on the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (confirmed)
    • Dr Aubrey Paris, Senior Policy Advisor, Gender, Climate Change & Innovation, Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues, U.S. Department of State (confirmed)