The Global Observatory for Water and Peace: Towards Effective Transboundary, Intersectoral and Local Water Cooperation
Water is becoming a growing source of social, economic and political instability, exacerbated by climate change, which can be an additional driving factor to migration and conflict, undermining many of the goals of Agenda 2030. Therefore, special attention needs to be paid to the peaceful and effective resolution of water-related conflicts in a preventive dynamic. Water can be a powerful tool for inducing cooperation between States and between competing sectors within States. It is with this positive vision that Switzerland has supported the establishment of the Geneva Water Hub. Senegal and Jordan, among others, are partners of the Geneva Water Hub and committed to highlight the relationship between water and peace.
Similarly, and in line with the commitment to the agenda of water and peace, the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace (HLPWP) was launched by fifteen countries in 2015. Its final Report and recommendations emphasized the role of water cooperation at all levels for peace and security. This was also endorsed by the UN-World Bank Global High-Level Panel on Water.
The Geneva Water Hub, in its role as Secretariat to the Panel, is implementing some of the recommendations including the establishment of the Global Observatory for Water and Peace (GOWP) and the Safe Space for the inter-sectoral and cross-border “pre-negotiation” with the objective of carrying forward cross-border and /or cross-sectoral bankable projects.
The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) and the Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UN Watercourses Convention) are important frameworks for engaging transboundary water cooperation. Therefore, the Global Observatory will support their implementation and facilitate and encourage transboundary water cooperation based on the principles of international law inherent in both conventions. The Global Observatory for Water and Peace may encourage the inclusion of provisions of these agreements in transboundary projects and initiatives.
The goals of this side-event are threefold: 1) to present the Global Observatory for Water and Peace, its current regional partners and proposed activities; 2) to discuss how the Global Observatory can support the implementation of the two global conventions, and 3) to explore potential interested partners to this global platform in Central Asia, and possible activities in the region.
The expected results include the sharing of information on this important development on water cooperation and the establishment of a network to the global platform based in Geneva, with strong analytical capacities to draw attention and assist in situations where water can serve as a vehicle of peace.
The flyer of the event is available below.
Chair: Ms. Mara Tignino, Reader, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva and Senior Legal Advisor, Geneva Water Hub. The Global Observatory for Water and Peace - Mr Christophe Bösch, Strategic Advisor, Geneva Water Hub.
Panelists: Mr. Marwan Al-Raggad - Professor, University of Jordan and Executive Director, Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), Jordan; Mr. Niokhor Ndour – Director of Water Resources Management and Planning, Ministry of Water and Sanitation, Senegal, Ms. Dinara Ziganshina – Deputy Director, Scientific Information Center of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia (SIC ICWC).
Questions and answers
Conclusions: Mr. Marco Keiner, Director of the Environment Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).