Intended to simplify the management of transboundary rivers, the Convention is the only international, legal tool available. It must be ratified by 35 countries to enter into force. Even with the recent signing of Burkina Faso (March 2011) and Morocco (April 2011), there are still only 24 signature countries.
This, despite the fact that the text, the result of thirty years of negotiations, especially the “Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Waterways”, is an effective way to improve the management of several rivers shared by different countries.
As a framework Convention, it aims to:
– fill the gaps in the current international governance of water,
– provide a coherent framework for the adoption of future agreements concerning basins
– facilitate the task of bilateral and multilateral institutions who support states sharing waterways
– preserve political stability in potentially conflicting situations
– Support the implementation of other multilateral Conventions (Climate Change, Biodiversity, Fight against Desertification, Wetlands, …)
Among the Millennium Development Goals, access to water is a crucial tool for development, and thus the fight against poverty. It is at the heart of health issues. Above all, it crystallizes the risk of conflict.
Figures about shared waterways
– 276 waterways are shared by at least two states
– Their basin extends across 145 countries and 40% of the world’s population live therein
– They generate almost 60% of global freshwater resources.
To learn more
List of 24 countries that have ratified the UN Convention on International Watercourses (List compiled on April 27, 2011 in chronological order from most recent to oldest signatory countries):