Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD)

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The Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) was created to foster cooperation in the management of the rivers in the Greater Himalayas. Since 2006, the Abu Dhabi Dialogue Group (ADDG) has convened six times in regional meetings and has held six national ADD events.

The ADD is a non-formal, consultative process, designed to foster regional cooperation on various challenges relating to the Himalayan Rivers, including climate change and its future impacts on livelihoods from the headwaters to the floodplains. The ADD brings together senior members of government, academia and civil society from the seven countries that share the Rivers of the Greater Himalayas including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Because regional water management is a sensitive topic in this region, discussions follow certain rules to provide a neutral forum for open conversations among participants. The ADD is non-representative and based on informal participation. In addition, statements are non-attributable and there is no requirement for a consensus outcome. The 10-year vision of the ADDG is:

A cooperative and knowledge based partnership of states fairly managing and developing the Himalayan river systems to bring economic prosperity, peace and social harmony, and environmental sustainability from the source to the sea.”

The ADD provides a neutral forum that encourages regular, continuous, and informal dialogue among senior government officials and opinion-leaders from the seven countries sharing the Greater Himalayan Rivers. It is this regional participation that distinguishes the ADD from other dialogue platforms. SAWI continues to facilitate this dialogue process, thereby creating an independent forum where decision makers can exchange their views on key challenges affecting the region. This forum is separate from the official political processes and public debates on transboundary water issues in the region.

As provided by SAWI Phase I, as well as SAWI Phase II (2012-2017), ADDG members confirmed their commitment to continue their advisory role. In this role, ADDG members 1) provide guidance on priority activities and promising entry points for cooperation, 2) participate in the implementation of activities, and 3) use their networks of influence to catalyze on-the-ground results.