United Nations Watercourses Convention Enters Into Force
Landmark global framework on fresh water to improve water security, conflict resolution and cooperation across borders.
The first global framework on fresh water and the world’s only global framework for transboundary cooperation, endorsed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, has officially entered into force. Currently, there are 276 transboundary freshwater lake and river basins worldwide, but only 40% are governed by agreements. Where agreements exist, 80% involve only two countries, even though other states may also be part of the watercourse in question.
The Convention will standardize one set of criteria for which all countries with international river basins and transboundary waters abide, ensuring more practical management globally. These criteria include defining the subjects that countries should discuss on their shared waters, facilitating the process of transboundary cooperation and holding governments accountable to their own countries and regions.