With a view to possible accession, a national workshop was jointly convened by the Ministry of Water and Environment and the Secretariat of the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) serviced by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) on 15 and 16 February in Entebbe, Uganda to raise broader awareness of the Convention and develop a road map for accession.
The general objective of the workshop was to inform stakeholders in Uganda about the Water Convention, to share about the processes initiated by Government of Uganda to become party to the Water Convention and to discuss the next steps in the accession process. Along with the formulation of a concrete road map to guide Uganda’s accession process, securing high-level commitment for Uganda’s accession was the workshop’s main outcome.
The workshop brought together over 80 participants from different ministries, basin (Nile Basin Initiative, Lake Victoria Basin Commission) and regional organizations (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), the United Nations, academia and civil society among others.
Specifically, the workshop allowed participants to:
- Inform stakeholders about the Water Convention;
- Identify the benefits, possible advantages and strategic objectives of a possible accession to the Convention for Uganda;
- Inform about the accession process, benefits and implementation by new African Parties;
- Discuss the practical implementation of the Water Convention to meet the challenges of water resource management in Uganda, based on the experience of existing Parties;
- Present the initiatives started by the Ministry of Water and Environment as part of Uganda's accession process to the Water Convention;
- Hold a Question and Answer session to respond to questions from stakeholders about the Water Convention;
- Discuss the next steps and road map in the accession process and the contribution of this process to Uganda's transboundary and national water management.
The specific results achieved through this workshop were:
- Stakeholders were informed about the cooperation framework of the Water Convention at the global level and discuss the future engagement of Uganda with the Convention’s Programme of Work 2022-24;
- The advantages for States to become party to the Water Convention were presented;
- Update on the efforts initiated for Uganda’s accession to the Convention were presented;
- The actors were informed on the next steps of the accession process and the contribution of this process to Uganda's national water management and transboundary water cooperation were discussed;
- Actors defined a roadmap, with key milestones agreed, for accession to the Water Convention.
The workshop funded by the European Union through the project "Promoting accession to the Water Convention" which aims to support the accession and implementation of the Water Convention and thus to strengthen cooperation cross-border water and the sustainable and peaceful management of shared water resources.