Skip to main content

Sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention

28 - 30 November 2012
Rome Italy

Highlights (Основные итоги)

The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) took place on 28-30 November 2012 in Rome, Italy. The meeting was held back-to-back with the International Roundtable on Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Southern Mediterranean (Rome, 26-27 November 2012).

The Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Water Convention adopted several decisions and a new programme of work that mark a crucial turning point in the globalization of the Convention. Some 330 participants, representing Parties and non-Parties from the UNECE region and beyond, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations attended the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties.

A unanimous desire to enable accession to the Convention for all UN Member States

At the sixth session, Parties adopted a decision on simplifying the procedure for the accession of non-UNECE countries to the Convention. Any future request for accession by any member of the United Nations will be considered as approved by the MoP, once the amendments to articles 25 and 26 to the Convention enter into force for all the Parties that adopted them in 2003.

This decision reconfirms the conviction of the Parties that the Convention is an effective instrument beyond the UNECE region, as well as the unanimous desire to enable accession by non-UNECE countries as soon as possible, without distinction from the procedure for UNECE countries. With this decision, it is expected that non-UNECE countries will be able to accede to the Water Convention as of the end of 2013. Countries outside the UNECE region were encouraged to join the Convention by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Establishment of an Implementation Committee

The Implementation Committee for the Convention was established. The Committee will render practical case-tailored assistance to prevent water-related disputes and support Parties in their efforts to implement the Convention. Its nine members were elected by consensus to serve in a personal capacity. They represent a good mix and balance of competences to accomplish the Committee’s tasks and include a number of outstanding lawyers and water management experts.

A new programme of work to further strengthen water cooperation

Parties adopted the new programme of work for 2013-2015. Work on support to implementation and accession, NPDs and adaption to climate change in transboundary basins will remain the cornerstones of the work under the Convention. In addition, in order to answer to today’s challenges, new areas of work were included such as quantifying the benefits of transboundary cooperation, a thematic assessment on the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus and activities related to the opening of the Water Convention. Two decisions on cooperation with global partners— with GEF and UNESCO— were adopted, which will reinforce the implementation of the Water Convention.

Signature of the Dniester Treaty between the Republic of Moldova and UkraineDuring the meeting, the signing ceremony of the new bilateral Treaty between the Government of the Republic of Moldova and the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine on Cooperation in the Field of Protection and Sustainable Development of the Dniester River Basin took place.

High-level segment

High-level segment

Twentieth anniversary of the Convention and its opening to all United Nations Member States

The high-level segment was held in the morning and early afternoon of Wednesday, 28 November 2012. It was divided in three main parts: the opening session and the parts on the main achievements and remaining challenges for the Convention, and on the views on and expectations for a globalized Convention.

The first part consisted of statements by the high-level panellists focusing on the specific achievements under the Convention since its adoption in 1992, the remaining challenges and the prospects for the future, in particular in view of the global opening of the Convention, followed by a moderated discussion.

The second part focused on the views and expectations for the Water Convention in view of its forthcoming globalization, followed by a moderated discussion.

For more information, see the programme for the high-level segment as well as the statements of the opening session, statements by panellists and interventions from the floor (in the table below).

Opening session ENG RUS
Message of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General, to the sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to  the Water Convention PDF -
Speech by Mr. Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe PDF -
Special session on the twentieth anniversary of the Convention and its opening to all United Nations Member States
Part 1: Main achievements and remaining challenges for the Convention
Ms. Lea Kauppi, Director General of the Finnish Environment Institute, Finland PDF -
Mr. Ahmet Muhammedov, Deputy Minister of Water Economy, Turkmenistan - -
Mr. Peter Kovacs, State Secretary for Water, Ministry of Rural Development, Hungary PDF -
Mr. Uladzimir Tsalka, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Belarus - PDF
Mr. Arben Demeti, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forests and Administration of Waters, Albania PDF -
Ms. Marina Seliverstova, Head of the Federal Agency for Water Resources, Russian Federation - PDF
Interventions from the floor (compilation) PDF -
Part 2: Views on and expectations for a globalized Convention ENG FRE
Mr. Mohanad Al-Shaibani, Minister of Water Resources, Iraq PDF -
Mr. Ramesh Chandra Sen, Minister of Water, Bangladesh PDF -
Mr. Moncef Rekaya, Director, Water Resources Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Tunisia - PDF
Mr. Sujiro Seam, Deputy Director of Global Public Goods, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France PDF -
Mr. Ivan Zavadsky, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, Global Environment Facility
Mr. Alejandro Iza, Head of the Environmental Law Programme, International Union for Conservation of
Interventions from the floor (compilation) PDF -

Implementation Committee

The following members were elected to serve in the Implementation Committee of the Water Convention:

Member Term
Mr. Johan Gerrit Lammers Half term
Ms. Vanya Grigorova Full term
Mr. Saghit Ibatullin Half term
Mr. Kari Kinnunen Full term
Mr. Stephen McCaffrey Full term
Ms. Anne Schulte-Wülwer-Leidig Half term
Mr. Aliaksandr Stankevich Full term
Mr. Attila Tanzi Half term
Mr. Ivan Zavadsky Full term


The Meeting of the Parties elected its Bureau as follows:

Name Title
Mr. Massimo Cozzone (Italy) Chair
Ms. Maria Galambos (Hungary) Vice-Chair
Mr. Serik Akhmetov (Kazakhstan) Vice-Chair
Ms. Lea Kauppi (Finland) Co-Chair of the Working Group on IWRM
Ms. Heide Jekel (Germany) Co-Chair of the Working Group on IWRM
Mr. Rafig Verdiyev (Azerbaijan) Member
Mr. Harry Liiv (Estonia) Member
Mr. Philippe Meunier (France) Member
Mr. Vladimir Ivlev (Russian Federation) Member
Ms. Dragana Milovanovic (Serbia) Member
Ms. Sibylle Vermont (Switzerland) Member