UNECE’s First Workshop «River Basin Commissions and Other Joint Bodies for Transboundary Water Cooperation: Legal and Institutional Aspects»

23–24 September 2013, Genève • Despite its lengthy title, UNECE’s upcoming workshop on river basin commissions could be an interesting one. »Recognizing the importance of exchange of experience on the establishment and functioning of joint bodies, the Parties to the Water Convention have included in the Work Programme for 2013–2015 two workshops to promote the exchange of experience and good practices between joint bodies worldwide and to draw lessons learned and recommendations.«

The First Workshop will be organized on 23 and 24 September 2013, back-to-back with the eighth meeting of the Water Convention’s Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management (25 and 26 September 2013).



The First Workshop convened in the International Year of Water Cooperation aims to highlight opportunities and inspire effective practices/solutions in advancing the legal and institutional frameworks and tools for transboundary water cooperation through the exchange of experience and cross-fertilization within existing joint bodies, as well as to support the emergence of new joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation. It is also intended to contribute to the establishment of cooperation and to provide a forum for networking between different joint bodies from across the world, and to build capacity for their effective functioning. More specifically, the First Workshop aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Present and discuss the experience of legal and institutional arrangements, procedures and working methods of joint bodies for transboundary water cooperation worldwide, to enable identification of challenges and good practices and sharing of experience;
  • Discuss past successes and ongoing efforts to establish new agreements and joint bodies, identify challenges and strategies to address them, as well as lessons learned, with a view to guide such efforts in the basins and aquifers not covered by agreements and joint institutions;
  • Increase awareness on international water law instruments, in particular the Water Convention and the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention, their compatibility and mutual complementarity, as well as the 2008 ILC Draft articles on the Law of Transboundary Aquifers, and introduce joint bodies outside the UNECE region to the multilateral cooperation framework provided by the Water Convention.


» More information


The First Workshop is organized under the leadership of the governments of Finland and Germany, and in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) International Hydrological Programme (IHP), Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters Learning Exchange and Resource Network (IW:LEARN), International Network of Basin Organizations (INBO), Global Water Partnership (GWP), International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The meeting is funded by the governments of Estonia, Finland, Germany and Luxembourg.