The Platform for International Water Law of the Geneva Water Hub (GWH) and DiploFoundation are pleased to invite you to the webinar on “International Water Law and Transboundary Cooperation”. This webinar is organised in the framework of the 2020 edition of the Distance Learning Course on “International Water Law & The Law of Transboundary Aquifers” delivered through the Continuing Education and e-Learning Centre of the University of Geneva
Join us on Thursday, 3rd December, at 14:00 CET (13:00 UTC)
Approximately 280 transboundary watercourses serve almost 40 per cent of the world’s population. Of these, 180 feed 2 States, while the others feed 3 States and more. The continent of Africa has 63 transboundary watercourses, of which 11 affect 4 or more riparian States (including 11 States for the Nile and 9 for the Congo). In South America, the Amazon serves 7 States, and 6 Asian States share the Mekong. As for the Danube, its watershed is divided among no less than 17 States. Moreover, more than 500 aquifers are shared between two or more States. These few figures show how much surface and groundwater management require effective cooperation and harmonization of regulations among States, taking into account the rights and obligations of non-State actors.
The entry into force of the 1997 Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses in 2014 and the global opening of the 1992 Convention on the Protection and Uses of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) in 2016 to all UN members States mark a fundamental step in the evolution of universal principles and rules in international water law and transboundary cooperation. These instruments, together with agreements at the regional and basin levels, support the overall architecture of the management and protection of shared water resources.
The webinar will examine the role of international water law in enhancing transboundary cooperation. It will also emphasize how the Implementation Committee of the UNECE Water Convention is used as a mechanism to support cooperation between riparian States.
14:00 - 15:00
Chair: Prof. Jovan Kurbalija – Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform
International water law: an effective tool for transboundary cooperation?
Dr Mara Tignino – Reader, Faculty of Law and Institute for Environmental Sciences, University of Geneva; Lead Legal Specialist, Platform for International Water Law, Geneva Water Hub
The global opening of the Convention on the Protection and Uses of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes and its role in strengthening transboundary cooperation
Dr Komlan Sangbana – Legal Officer, Secretariat of the Water Convention, UNECE
The Implementation Committee of the Water Convention and the promotion of transboundary cooperation: some successful achievements
Dr Dinara Zinganshina - Deputy Director, Scientific Information Center of Interstate Commission for Water Coordination in Central Asia; Member of the Implementation Committee of the Water Convention, UNECE
Dr Jovan Kurbalija is the Executive Director of DiploFoundation and Head of the Geneva Internet Platform (GIP). He was a member of the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (2004‒2005), special advisor to the Chairman of the UN Internet Governance Forum (2006‒2010), and a member of the High Level Multistakeholder Committee for NETmundial (2013‒2014). In 2018-2019, he served as co-Executive Director of the Secretariat of the United Nations (UN) High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation.
A former diplomat, Jovan has a professional and academic background in international law, diplomacy, and information technology. He has been a pioneer in the field of cyber diplomacy since 1992 when he established the Unit for Information Technology and Diplomacy at the Mediterranean Academy of Diplomatic Studies in Malta, and later, DiploFoundation.
Since 1997, Jovan’s research and articles on cyber diplomacy have shaped research and policy discussion on the impact of the Internet on diplomacy and international relations. His book, An Introduction to Internet Governance, has been translated into 9 languages and is used as a textbook for academic courses worldwide. He lectures on e-diplomacy and Internet governance in academic and training institutions in many countries, including Austria (Diplomatic Academy of Vienna), Belgium (College of Europe), Switzerland (University of St Gallen), Malta (University of Malta), and the United States (University of Southern California).