event 04 May 2017

MENA // Food and Water Security in the Middle East and North Africa

By NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA), ed. by Osman Askin Bak. For many years, the Science and Technology Committee (STC) of the NATO PA has underlined that natural resource constraints should be a concern for the transatlantic community. Food security and water security are factors that can contribute to the stability of the MENA region. But the long-term prospects for food and water security in the MENA region are dire.

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(C) Toppich / unsplash
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has descended into turmoil since 2010/2011, which also coincided with regional drought. At the 2016 Warsaw Summit, NATO made clear that transatlantic security is “deeply affected by the security situation in the Middle East and North Africa” (NATO, 2016). Daesh* and other extremist groups have struck Allied territory with vicious terrorist attacks. Large numbers of refugees and migrants have fled the region for neighbouring countries and Europe. Other threats and challenges loom, including trafficking of small arms and light weapons, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery as well as threats against maritime security and energy supplies. Consequently, NATO emphasised “the need to do more to achieve lasting calm and an end to violence”, as “Peace and stability in this region are essential for the Alliance”.


The draft report first examines food and water shortages and their relations with international security. Second, the report presents a snapshot of the status of food and water security globally. Third, it homes in on food and water security in the MENA region. Fourth, it looks at mitigation and adaptation strategies for the region. Last, the draft report concludes with preliminary thoughts and recommendations on the way forward, which the Special Rapporteur is looking forward to discussing at the 2017 Spring Session in Tbilisi, Georgia at the end of May.


NATO PA website, PDF, 632 kB


2017 (draft)


NATO Parliamentary Assembly

The NATO PA provides a critical forum for international parliamentary consideration of an array of security, political and economic matters. Its principal objective is to facilitate dialogue among European and North American members of parliament on the key security challenges facing the Alliance. Members of the NATO PA serve in their own national parliaments as well within our Assembly. A number of them hold important positions in their respective legislatures, such as chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs or Defence Committees, among others, and have also served at the rank of Minister in their governments. Assembly discussions and debates help forge the democratic consensus that underpins NATO Alliance policies. Here, you can find more information about the NATO PA and about Science and Technology Committee.

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