River Basin Commissions and Other Joint Bodies for Transboundary Water Cooperation

Posted: 2013-07-17

GWP will participate at the UNECE workshop “River Basin Commissions and Other Joint Bodies for Transboundary Water Cooperation: Legal and Institutional Aspects” on 23-24 September 2013 in the Palais des Nations in Geneva, Switzerland.

The workshop aims to highlight opportunities and inspire effective practices/solutions in advancing the legal and institutional frameworks and tools for transboundary water cooperation.

It is also intended to contribute to the establishment of cooperation and to provide a forum for networking between different joint bodies from across the world, and to build capacity for their effective functioning.

The workshop aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Present and discuss the experience of legal and institutional arrangements, procedures and working methods of joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation worldwide, to enable identification of challenges and good practices and sharing of experience;
  • Discuss past successes and ongoing efforts to establish new agreements and joint bodies, identify challenges and strategies to address them with a view to guide such efforts in the basins and aquifers not covered by agreements and joint institutions;
  • Increase awareness on international water law instruments, their compatibility and mutual complementarity, as well as the 2008 ILC Draft articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, and introduce joint bodies outside the UNECE region to the multilateral cooperation framework provided by the Water Convention.

The workshop will consist of a mix of plenary sessions and discussions in working groups focusing on the following topics:

  • Efforts to establish new agreements and joint bodies;
  • Legal and institutional frameworks for cooperation through joint bodies;
  • Primary tools and methods of effective daily cooperation;
  • Conflict prevention and dispute settlement – the role of joint bodies.

A detailed programme will be issued in August 2013.

Recognizing the importance of exchange of experience on the establishment and functioning of joint bodies, the Parties to the Water Convention have included in the Work Programme for 2013-2015 two workshops to promote the exchange of experience and good practices between joint bodies worldwide and to draw lessons learned and recommendations.

The Second Workshop, tentatively planned for 9-10 April 2014, will focus on specific areas and technical aspects of cooperation in the framework of joint bodies, such as cooperation on preservation and restoration of ecosystems, water infrastructure, contingency planning, navigation, fisheries, etc. 

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