Ensuring Sustainability: The Second Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP) Expert Synthesis Meeting

UNESCO office in Jakarta in collaboration with the River Engineering and Urban Drainage Research Centre (REDAC), Universiti Sains Malaysia, have organized the Second Malaysia-UNESCO Cooperation Programme (MUCP) Expert Synthesis Meeting in Penang Island, Malaysia on 23-24 September 2019.

This meeting has gathered experts affiliated with the implementation of the Malaysia Funds-In-Trust (MFIT) projects from the region of Asia Pacific and Africa. This is the second MUCP platform initiated to gather expertise from multi-disciplines to cover all the spectrum of UNESCO’s thematic competencies.

In continuation of the first MUCP Expert Synthesis Meeting organized in Langkawi, Malaysia last May 2019, the focus would be on identifying the key findings, best practices and critical analysis of the MUCP implementation to ensure the suitability of its outputs and significant outcomes.

The meeting has also been attended by Penang State representatives, headed by the Hon. Dato’ Ir. Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, Deputy Chief Minister of the Penang State, the Mayor of the Seberang Perai City Council, Datuk Rozali Mohamud as well as the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Jaseni Maidinsa.

Parts of the discussion with the Penang Government and authorities would include the possibility of implementing smart city initiatives and cooperation with water technology. Relevant water experts such as Prof. Soontak Lee, President, International Hydrologic Environmental Society (IHES) and Ir. Tajudin bin Sulaiman, Director of the Humid Tropics Centre Kuala Lumpur (HTCKL) also attended this meeting.

The meeting has been critical in classifying the main output and developing the framework to ensure the sustainability of the key findings, in order for the output and outcome be disseminated and replicated globally. General opinions from the meeting clearly indicate that the MUCP-MFIT projects’ implementation has been positive and helps empower and solidify the South-South Cooperation.

The focus on capacity building has been essential and significant to the institutions and experts involved, including the participating Malaysian institutions. In overall, the MUCP-MFIT projects have pooled the knowledge and networking of institutions and experts from more than 80 countries worldwide

Part of the questions posed would be the continuity of the MUCP framework. There is a strong opinion that this cooperation partnership should be continued, with modifications made to make it more relevant to the UNESCO Member States and addressing the critical issues faced globally.The findings of the synthesis meeting, will be presented in the coming 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference, this November 2019.