A group of experts are working together to find solutions to the growing issue of water scarcity and rising food prices across the Middle East region. The Atlantic Council’s N-7 Initiative recently hosted a conference in the United Arab Emirates aimed at promoting cooperation between Israel and Arab neighbors. The goal of the conference was to produce regional solutions to the shared challenges of climate change, water scarcity, and food insecurity. The conference brought together government experts, civil society participants, and private sector members, who have produced actionable items aimed at positively impacting the lives of civilians across the region.

The N-7 Conference and the Abraham Accords

Representatives from 10 Muslim-majority countries, Israel, and the United States attended the conference, which comes on the heels of the Abraham Accords, a series of normalization agreements among Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain that have opened the door for economic and security cooperation. Despite heightened tension in the Middle East due to incidents between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as the development of Iran’s nuclear program, participants were eager to come together to address regional challenges.

Employing Israeli Water Technology at Scale

According to former US Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro, the conference yielded positive results. Participants have shown interest in employing Israeli water technology across the Middle East at scale, which could help address food insecurity through collective action. Shapiro emphasized that the primary focus of the N-7 Initiative is to pool knowledge and expertise to apply these solutions together as regional partners. “Most of all, they want to pool their knowledge and expertise and apply these solutions together, as N7 regional partners,” Shapiro said.