Informal Gathering of the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention

Informal Gathering of the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention

16 November 2015

Diego Jara


An Informal Gathering of the UN Watercourses Convention organized by Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands in coordination with the UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) took place in Paris, France, from 15 to 16 September 2015 to discuss steps needed to ensure full implementation of the Convention.


The 1997 UN Watercourses Convention entered into force in August 2014 after Vietnam became the 35th country to ratify this international instrument. However, the Convention does not provide for any permanent institutional structures (i.e. Meeting of the Parties or Secretariat), hence there is the need to rethink how countries will implement the obligations under the 1997 Convention.


The IUCN, represented by the Environmental Law Centre was present in this gathering where it delivered a statement to the plenary calling on the parties to continue making all efforts to improve cooperation at the basin level, taking into consideration the importance of an ecosystems approach to International Water Law. Additionally, it shared the experiences from the implementation of BRIDGE highlighting the importance of Hydrodiplomacy and Multi-level-governance.


The ELC through the implementation of BRIDGE, is committed to continue working at global scale supporting the implementation and ratification of the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, as one of the means to achieve global water governance.