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CMES in Almedalen 2024

En bild av Lunds universitetshus bakom en skyline av Visby
LU i Almedalen

On June 26, CMES organised two panels in Almedalen on global water resources and the Israel Palestine conflict.

Israel Palestine - an unsolvable conflict?

June 26, 2024

En vit duva som flyger över ett ökenlandskap.
Illustration: Catrin Jakobsson

What are the long-term consequences of the war? How can destructive spirals of violence be prevented in the future? What are the opportunities and obligations of the international community to get involved and protect the civilian population? What is the role of regional actors in a future resolution of the conflict? The panel discussed the possible political and humanitarian consequences of the war, as well as the possibilities for a future diplomatic solution.

The panel consisted of Samir Abu Eid (Foreign Correspondent Swedish Public Service Television), Nina Gren (Senior Lecturer in Social Anthropology, CMES), Torsten Janson (Senior Lecturer in Islamic Studies, CMES), Michael Schulz (Professor of Peace and Development Research, Global Studies, University of Gothenburg) and Lisa Strömbom (Senior Lecturer in Political Science, CMES), and was chaired by Karin Aggestam (Director, CMES).

A collage of photos of speakers on stage.
Top right: Michael Schulz, Nina Gren, Samir ABu Eid, Lisa Strömbom, Karin Aggestam and Torsten Janson. Photos: Linda Eitrem Holmgren and Hilde Skar Olsen

Foreign correspondent Samir Abu Eid outlined the political developments in Israel in recent years, with far-right policies, normalisation agreements with Arab states and a lack of focus on the Palestinians. Nina Gren explained the links between the 1948 Nakba and the current displacement situation for Palestinians in Gaza since 7 October 2023, as well as the ongoing escalation in the West Bank in recent years. Lisa Strömbom discussed the difficulties of the current situation, including uncompromising elites on both sides, the use of identity politics and the lack of political vision for the future. Torsten Janson talked about the symbolic struggle over history and the right to define and grade one's own suffering on the Palestinian and Israeli sides. Michael Schulz asked - where will peace come from? Among other things, it requires pressure from within and without on both Israeli and Palestinian leaders and a strengthening of local peace forces in the region. The panel concluded with a discussion of possible future peace solutions in Israel-Palestine and the importance of the role of the international community.

Sydsvenskan published an article (in Swedish) about the event, which you can read here.

Crises, wars and climate change - how do we manage limited water resources?

June 26, 2024

Ett par kupade händer som är fyllda med vatten. Taggtråd. Ett korallrev med fiskar. Planeten sedd från rymden. En flod som rinner genom en uttorkad natur.
Illustration: Catrin Jakobsson

Water is essential for producing food, energy and a healthy environment. At the same time, our shared water resources are both limited and under threat. Climate change is raising sea temperatures and threatening biodiversity. An increasing population and growing global water demand are leading to conflicts over water resources. Working together across borders on water resources can achieve a fair and sustainable distribution of water and minimise negative impacts on both people and the environment. It may also require diplomatic efforts, negotiations and conflict resolution between states sharing limited water resources. Sustainable water use and maritime planning require both solidarity and cooperation. But what are we doing globally to manage our shared water resources?

The panel consisted of  Karin Aggestam (Professor of Political Science, Director of CMES), Catarina Hedar (Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management) and Kenneth M Persson (Professor of Water Resources Engineering, Coordinator of LTH's profile area Water), and was chaired by Louise Pierce. The event was co-organised with LTH.

A collage of photos of the panel participants on stage.
Top left: Louise Pierce and Kenneth M Persson. Bottom right: Catarina Hedar and Karin Aggestam. Photos: Linda Eitrem Holmgren, Jessika Sellergren and Hilde Skar Olsen

The panel discussion was introduced by Louise Pierce, who spoke about the importance of shared and effective management of global water resources. CMES Director Karin Aggestam talked about the hugely challenging water shortages in the Middle East that require diplomacy and political solutions, but can also give rise to grassroots peacebuilding and cooperation between local actors. She also shared positive examples of water cooperation between Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian villages around the Jordan River on energy issues, desalination and technical solutions. Catarina Hedar shared her experience of how the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management works with cross-border co-operation, for example through the Nairobi Convention and global marine planning. Kenneth M Persson focused on the importance of technical solutions regarding water issues and investments to properly deal with water pollution of wastewater globally. The panel then jointly discussed the importance of cross-border trust and confidence building between countries to share water data and jointly build long-term sustainable solutions to water problems with global examples from Israel, Palestine, Taiwan and Uzbekistan.