World Water Week – Seminar “How the two Global Water Conventions support transboundary water cooperation”, Stockholm, 31 August 2014

Two global legal frameworks now foster cooperation between countries, sectors and other stakeholders in transboundary basins: the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, which is now in force, and the 1992 UNECE Water Convention, which is opened for worldwide accession. Both conventions support countries in creating adequate basin governance structures, preventing conflicts and addressing challenges such as balancing multiple water uses or climate change adaptation.

This seminar is jointly convened within the framework of the World Water Week by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science. Other partners include the Finnish Water Forum, the Government of Hungary, the Government of the Netherlands, Green Cross International, IUCN, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, the Ministry of Water and Forestry of Cote d’Ivoire, SIWI, the UNEP-DHI Centre for Water and Environment, UNESCO and the WWF.

The programme is as follows:

14:00 Opening remarks and introduction by the moderators Nicholas Bonvoisin, UNECE and Alice Aureli, UNESCO

14:10 Two global water conventions: the UNECE Water Convention and the UN Watercourses Convention, Alistair Rieu Clarke, Dundee Centre for Water Law, Policy & Science

14:20 Recent progress in strengthening frameworks for transboundary water cooperation, Seppo Rekolainen, Finnish Environment Institute

14:30 Panel discussion: Why are the water conventions useful for our transboundary water management?

• Moderated by Alejandro Iza, IUCN
• Djana Bejko, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Environment, Albania
• Michael Tozan, Ministry of Water and Forestry, Côte d’Ivoire
• Suhair Salman Abdulwahab, Ministry of Water Resources, Iraq
• Niels Vlaanderen, Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Netherlands

15:15 First results of the Transboundary Waters Assessment Programme (TWAP),one possible tool to support the implementation of the Conventions in the future – which priorities for action? Peter Koefoed Bjørnsen, UNEP-DHI

15:45 Coffee break

16:15 Implementing and promoting the UN Watercourses Convention on the ground: Experience of the Senegal basin,
Lamine Ndiaye, Observatory of the environment, Senegal River Development Organization

16:25 How the institutional framework of the UNECE Water Convention supports implementation of international water law, Peter Kovacs, Ministry of Interior, Hungary

16:35 Interactive discussion with the audience: How can the two global water conventions support cooperation on transboundary water resources and interact with each other in the future? Discussion moderated by Lesha Witmer, WWF

17:20 Concluding remarks, Fabien Dupuis, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France and Lifeng Li, WWF

17:30 Reception offered by the government of the Netherlands at the WWF booth