UN Photo/Manuel Elias
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The UN Security Council discussed linkages between water, peace and security at a meeting on preventive diplomacy and transboundary waters.

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia and current Security Council president, chaired the meeting.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries to invest in water security to ensure lasting peace and security for all.

6 June 2017: The UN Security Council discussed linkages between water, peace and security at a meeting on preventive diplomacy and transboundary waters. Evo Morales, President of Bolivia and current Security Council president, chaired the meeting. UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on countries to invest in water security to ensure lasting peace and security for all.

Guterres stated that water issues can be catalysts of cooperation rather than conflict.

Guterres stated that water issues can be catalysts of cooperation rather than conflict, and cited his own experience while Prime Minister of Portugal, during which he advanced cooperation with Spain on the Albufeira Convention on sharing of transboundary water resources. He highlighted the work of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in building capacity in water diplomacy around the Aral Sea, noting its collaboration with the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, and the UN’s expertise in supporting mediation in water disputes. He also drew attention to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 1992 Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, which opened for global signature in March 2016.

The UN estimates that, by 2050, at least one-quarter of the world’s population will live in water-scarce regions. Around 40% of the world’s population depends on more than 270 internationally shared river basins such as the Nile, the Indus, the Ganges, the Euphrates-Tigris and the Mekong. [UN Secretary-General’s Remarks] [UN Press Release]

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