UNECE Publishes Assessment of Progress on Water Convention
UN Photo/Victoria Hazou
story highlights

The report is based on a self-reporting exercise, whereby countries used a common template to report on the existence of agreements, joint bodies, strategies and activities for cooperation.

The report highlights several challenges for Parties to the Convention, including the need to harmonize governance systems, better engage with stakeholders, address climate variability, meet financing needs, and build technical capacity in the countries.

4 October 2018: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) has published a progress report on implementation of the Water Convention, showing that Parties have made “significant progress” towards cooperation on transboundary waters. The report titled, ‘Progress on Transboundary Water Cooperation under the Water Convention,’ is based on self-assessments submitted by 38 of the 40 countries that were Parties at the time of the reporting exercise in 2017.

In her introduction to the report, Olga Algayerova, UNECE Executive Secretary, hailed the report as a major “milestone,” highlighting that it also contributes to understanding the status of action on SDG target 6.5 on integrated water resources management (IWRM) and transboundary cooperation.

Countries that are not Parties to the Convention could use the reporting template to gain insight into what they would need to do to implement the treaty.

The self-reporting exercise was the first of its kind to be undertaken through the UNECE Water Convention, known in full as the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes. Using a common template, countries reported on the existence of agreements, joint bodies, strategies and activities for cooperation. The exercise showed that most transboundary waters shared by signatories to the Convention already have agreements and arrangements in place; however, at least 15 transboundary river and lake basins do not have an agreement or arrangement in place for the whole basin, and at least 29 do not have agreements or arrangements covering transboundary aquifers. The report highlights several challenges for Parties to the Convention, including the need to harmonize governance systems, better engage with stakeholders, address climate variability, meet financing needs, and build technical capacity in the countries.

UNECE and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) are co-custodians of SDG target 6.5. UNECE suggests that even countries that are not Parties to the Convention could benefit from using the reporting template, as it will give insight into what they would need to do to implement the Convention, and can also help them report progress against SDG indicator 6.5.2 on the proportion of transboundary basin area with an operational arrangement for water cooperation.

The report was released in the lead-up the eighth Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention (MOP-8), which takes place in Astana, Kazakhstan, from 10-12 October 2018. Parties to the Convention meet every three years.

Originally a European agreement, the Convention opened for global signature in 2016 and now has 41 Parties, with Chad acceding to the Convention in February 2018, and Senegal in September 2018. [Publication: Progress on Transboundary Water Cooperation under the Water Convention] [Report Web Page] [UNECE Press Release]


related events


related posts