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Report of ‘High Level Round Table on Water Security and the Sustainable Development Goals’ in Yangon, Myanmar on 24 May, 2016.


Tadashige KAWASAKI
NARBO Secretariat in Japan Water Agency



      Myanmar is currently undertaking an important water sector reform. The International Community formulated the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Based on these backgrounds, Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the Government of Myanmar with government of Japan and the Netherlands and the United Nations organized a High Level Round Table event on Water Security and the SDGs on 24 May, 2016 in Yangon, Myanmar that would give both Myanmar and the South East Asian Region its benefit.

   The High Level Round Table (HLRT) was designed to be a milestone in the new stage of democracy in Myanmar, accelerating the already consolidated IWRM, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) activities ongoing under the guidance of the Government of Myanmar and the World Bank. The specific objectives of the HLRT were as follows:

   i ) To reconcile existing National and Regional Strategies / Programs aiming at reaching Water Security with the SDGs and the 2030 Development Agenda approach. The Meeting focused mainly on five SDGs, namely SDG 5 (Gender), SDG 6 (Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Cities), SDG 13 (Climate Change, DRR), SDG 17 (Partnerships),

   ii) To illustrate the importance of national partnerships and regional cooperation as key vehicles for the implementation of the SDGs as highlighted in the 2030 Agenda, under Goal 17 that could be implemented in the South Eastern Asia Region, and

   iii) To support the Government of Myanmar in promoting water high on the national development agenda.



Photo 1 : HLRT meeting

Photo 2 : Workshop on SDGs

   Approximately 80 participants including ministers of key water related ministries, senior officials from water related ministries, senior representatives of international organizations, INGOs, NGOs, academia, researchers and private sectors joined the HLRT. Keynote lectures by host organizations were held, and a representative of Myanmar introduced the water resources management project with involvement of stakeholders in the basin in the Ayeyarwady river as a recent good practice which were now being conducted by the World Bank. Following the keynote lectures by the host organizations, the workshop was held to discuss 5 SDGs themes. Participants agreed that it was important to i : Coordinate with the water resources development and management project in Myanmar with SDGs; ii: Promote achieve SDGs target by enhancing the cooperation among the region and recognizing the role of regional cooperation; and iii: Prioritize the water-related policies in Myanmar. Especially we affirmed that the international society would support Myanmar and other South East Asian countries to achieve their sustainable and sound development through supporting implementation of appropriate water management. Outcomes of the HLRT will be presented to the High Level Panel on Water which was established by the United Nations and the World Bank and other relevant High Level Panels.

   Mr. Kei KUDO, Secretary General, Mr. Hideshi SASAHARA, Vice-Secretary General, and Mr. Tadashige KAWASAKI, NARBO secretariat participated in the HLRT meeting and contributed to its discussions. NARBO representatives especially shared experiences by the viewpoint of IWRM practitioners in the field and recommended some points to be taken by the international societies at the group which discussed SDGs 6.

   The HLRT was a good opportunity to see NARBO friends and strengthen our networking in the region.


Photo 3 : Mr. Kei KUDO, NARBO Secretary General, Dr. Mochmmad Amron, Senior Advisor of NARBO,

and Mr. HIdeshi SASAHARA, Vice Secretary General of NARBO