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Anniversary event to celebrate 20 years of the Helsinki Convention and its future

03 - 04 September 2012
Helsinki Finland


The Water Convention: 20 years of successful water cooperation

Since its adoption 20 years ago, significant results have been achieved, and experience gained, within the UNECE region through the implementation of the UNECE Water Convention (Helsinki Convention). The event provided a retrospective analysis of the work, successes and challenges of the past 20 years: Parties and non-Parties to the Convention discussed about their achievements and the role of the Convention in this respect.

The event also debated on the future and on the challenges and opportunities ahead. In particular, the event discussed the future perspective linked to the entry into force of the amendment of the UNECE Water Convention allowing also countries outside the UNECE region to join the Convention, and the entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention (Convention on the Law of Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses). The event debated the relationship between the two instruments and potential institutional arrangements for the implementation. The debate will inform the decisions at the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Helsinki Convention, that will be held in Rome
from 28 to 30 November 2012.Press release of the meeting in English and French.


Document title ENG FRE RUS
Programme PDF - -
Timeline PDF    
Messages to the Meeting of the Parties PDF  

Presentations and Speeches

Document title ENG
Opening and welcoming. Ville Niinistö, Minister of the Environment, Finland PDF
20 years of water cooperation in the pan-European region: lessons for the forthcoming globalization of the UNECE Water Convention. Sven Alkalaj, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe PDF
Conflict management and water-related disputes. Pekka Haavisto, Member of the Parliament, Finland PDF
Historical review: the role of Finland towards the Helsinki Rules and the New York and Helsinki conventions. Erkki J. Hollo, Professor emeritus of Environmental Law, University of Helsinki, Finland PDF
Transboundary challenges in Central Asia. Saghit Ibatullin, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (EC IFAS), Kazakhstan PDF
Dispute prevention and dispute solving under the Water Convention. Antti Belinskij, Member of the Legal Board under the Water Convention, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Finland PDF
Fostering implementation of the Water Convention. Francesca Bernardini, Secretary of the Water Convention, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe PDF
Future perspectives of the New York and Helsinki water conventions. Alistair Rieu-Clarke, Senior Lecturer in International Law, Dundee University, UK PDF
Beyond the UNECE region: Expectations of new potential Parties. Zeneemyadar Batbayar, Deputy Director of Water Authority-Government Implementing Agency of Mongolia, Mongolia PDF
The challenges of multilateral cooperation: the case of the Danube River. Philip Weller, Executive Secretary of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) PDF