In 1997, more than 100 nations gathered to adopt the UN Watercourses Convention – a flexible and overarching global legal framework that establishes basic standards and rules for cooperation between watercourse states on the use, management, and protection of international watercourses.
The UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (the UN Watercourses Convention) is the only treaty governing shared freshwater resources that is of universal applicability. It is a framework convention, in the sense that it provides a framework of principles and rules that may be applied and adjusted to suit the characteristics of particular international watercourses.
In early 2006, the World Wide Fund (WWF) launched a global initiative to promote the UN Watercourses Convention and accelerate its ratification process. The initiative has mobilized several governments and other stakeholders in efforts to raise awareness, build capacity and support countries interested in becoming parties to the convention.
The UN Watercourses Convention counts today 27 contracting states – 8 short of the number required for entry into force.
33 countries are part of the Convention Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Luxembourg, Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Yemen.
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