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Implementation Committee


The Implementation Committee under the Water Convention was established at the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention (Rome, 28-30 November 2012) which adopted decision VI/1 on support to implementation and compliance (ECE/MP.WAT/37/Add.2, see in Eng, Fre and Rus).

The objective of the mechanism is to facilitate, promote and safeguard the implementation and application and compliance with the Water Convention. The mechanism is to be simple, non-confrontational, non-adversarial, transparent, supportive and cooperative in nature, building on the distinctive collaborative spirit of the Convention.

The Implementation Committee consists of nine members, who serve in their personal capacity, objectively and in the best interest of the Convention. The Committee is currently composed of the following members: Kari Kinnunen, Johan G. Lammers, Martins Paparinskis, Stephen McCaffrey, Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, Pedro Cunha Serra, Attila Tanzi, Ivan Zavadsky, Dinara Ziganshina (see short bio below).

Material and documents

Committee’s report to the eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties

Presentation on the Implementation Committee by the Committee members

Video recordings of interviews with Committee members, for example on upstream and downstream State relations, dispute settlement under the Water Convention and (in Russian) the role of the Implementation Committee for Central Asia.

List of Meetings

Thirteenth meeting (20-21 May 2021, Geneva, Switzerland)

Twelfth meeting (4-5 February 2021, Geneva, Switzerland)

Eleventh meeting (31 August - 2 September 2020, Geneva, Switzerland)

Preparatory meeting for the 11th meeting (19 May 2020 by videoconference)

Tenth meeting (2-3 December 2019, Geneva, Switzerland)

Ninth meeting (7-9 March 2018, Geneva, Switzerland)

Eighth meeting (23-24 May 2017, Haparanda, Sweden)

Seventh meeting (1-2 December 2016, Budapest, Hungary)

Sixth meeting (3-4 May 2016, Geneva, Switzerland)

Fifth meeting (5-6 May 2015, Vienna, Austria)

Fourth meeting (4 December 2014, London, United Kingdom)

Third meeting (15 May 2014, Bologna, Italy)

Second meeting (12 December 2013, Geneva, Switzerland)

First meeting (5 June 2013, Geneva, Switzerland)

How to contact the Implementation Committee
The Implementation Committee can be contacted by email through the Convention’s secretariat at water.convention(at) Please clearly indicate that the correspondence is intended for the Implementation Committee.

Committee members

Implementation Committee 2018-2021

Short biographies of the Committee members

Kari Kinnunen has served as a Director of the Lapland Regional Environmental Centre for over a decade. He has been an alternate member (1982–1990) and Chair (1990–2007) of the Finnish-Norwegian Transboundary Water Commission, member of the Finnish-Swedish Transboundary River Commission (1994–2007), observer of the Finnish-Russian Border Water Commission (1996--2007) and Senior Advisor of the Mekong River Commission Secretariat (1998–1999). Professor Kinnunen has a background in microbiology, limnology, agriculture and forestry, and specializes in water hygiene, water quality, water ecological modelling, water ecosystem monitoring, environmental administration, acidification and international environmental cooperation.

Johan G. Lammers has been a Professor of Public International Law and International Relations (1986¬1989) and of International Environmental Law (1990–2006) at the University of Amsterdam. He served as Deputy Legal Adviser (1989–1999) and Legal Adviser (1999–2006) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Professor Lammers has negotiated, on behalf of the Netherlands, the 1991 Espoo Convention, 1992 Water Convention and 1994 Meuse and Scheldt Agreements and was the Chair of the Drafting Committee for the 1997 United Nations Watercourses Convention.

Stephen McCaffrey has an extensive career in international water law, having been the Special Rapporteur for the International Law Commission’s draft articles on The Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (1985–1991), which formed the basis for the negotiation of the 1997 United Nations Watercourses Convention. Professor McCaffrey served as the Counsellor on International Law in the Office of Legal Adviser, U.S. Department of State. He has been engaged as a counsel in numerous cases before the International Court of Justice and Permanent Court of Arbitration. Since 2000, Professor McCaffrey is a Distinguished Professor at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

Martins Paparinskis is Reader (Associate Professor) in Public International Law at University College London, Faculty of Laws, which he joined in 2013. He is a generalist public international lawyer with a variety of specialist interests, including international environmental law and international dispute settlement. Dr Paparinskis is a member of the World Bank’s ICSID panel of arbitrators since 2014, a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration since 2017, and a member of the management board of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency since 2017.

Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig has a background in biology and water chemistry. She is the Deputy Head of the Secretariat of the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (ICPR). Ms. Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig has been coordinating the transboundary cooperation processes within ICPR since 1988. She worked on the implementation of the Rhine Action Program and ICPR Action Plan on Floods, and on the development of the 1999 Rhine Convention. Ms. Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig is responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive on an international level in the Rhine basin.

Pedro Cunha Serra is an expert on hydraulics and water resources planning and management and is working as a consultant to Governments and international organisations on transboundary river basin issues. He is member of the Portuguese-Spanish Transboundary Water Commission since 1994 and was in the past the Portuguese Water Director (1994-1999) - at that moment the EU water framework directive was being drafted and the Portuguese-Spanish transboundary rivers Albufeira Convention was being negotiated (he was a member of the negotiations team). As advisor to the parties he worked with the Mozambican government on the drafting and negotiation of the Incomaputo Convention. More recently he has provided advice to the Government of Angola on the Cunene river Convention and to OSCE on the Dniester river.

Attila Tanzi, Chair of the Implementation Committee, is Professor of International Law at the University of Bologna. He has been the Chair of the Legal Board of the UNECE Water Convention (2004–2012), Chair of the Compliance Committee of the Protocol on Water and Health (2007–2010), Chair of the Expert Group on Public Participation in International Forums (2004), Vice-Chair of the Working Group on the Elaboration of the Protocol on Civil Liability (2000–2003) and Special Rapporteur on the relationship between the 1992 Water Convention and 1997 UN Watercourses Convention for the Task Force on Legal and Administrative Issues (1998–2000). Professor Tanzi served as arbitrator in a number of water and environmental cases.

Ivan Zavadsky is the Secretary of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River. In 2007–2012, he worked as Senior Water Resources Management Specialist at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat. Mr. Zavadsky has been a Regional Programme Director of the UNDP/GEF Danube/Black Sea Regional Programme (2005–2007) and Chief Technical Advisor of the UNDP/GEF Danube Regional Project (2001–2005). He served as Director General of the Air, Water, Waste and Environmental Risk Division at the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (1995–2001) and Director of the Water Protection Department at the Slovak Commission for the Environment (1990–1992).

Dinara Ziganshina holds a L.L.M. from the University of Oregon and a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from the IHP-Help Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science under the auspices of UNESCO, University of Dundee. She has been Deputy Director of the Scientific Information Center of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia (SIC ICWC) since 2012. She has extensive experience as a legal expert in water resources management at national and transboundary levels as well as academic research and teaching experience in the fields of water law, management and policy, international environmental law and policy, human rights and environmental conflict resolution.

Implementation Committee 2015-2018

Vanya Grigorova (Vice-Chair), Kari Kinnunen, Johan G. Lammers, Stephen McCaffrey, Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, Aliaksandr Stankevich, Attila Tanzi (Chair), Ivan Zavadsky, Dinara Ziganshina

Implementation Committee 2012-2015

Mr. Attila Tanzi (Chair), Mr. Saghit Ibatullin (Vice-chair), Ms. Vanya Grigorova, Mr. Kari Kinnunen,
Mr.  Johan G. Lammers, Mr. Stephen McCaffrey, Ms. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig, Mr. Aliaksandr Stankevich, and Mr. Ivan Zavadsky


Last update date: May 18, 2021