The opening session was chaired by Paula Richardson. In her opening remarks she welcomed all the participants of the meeting. She said that she was happy to see that there was significant goodwill and commitment within the ministries and different departments in Afghanistan to strengthen capacities in water resources management. Over the years the Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has witnessed a great level of enthusiasm and ongoing commitment across government agencies in Afghanistan, so she hoped that this momentum would continue till the end of the project period. Australia has invested in Strengthening Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (SWaRMA) because of its vast experience in the field of water resources management. She also emphasized that women’s participation and their voice in water resources management is critical for economic growth and sustainable management of water resources. She expected that the meeting would draw attention to the gender dimension in water resources management in Afghanistan.