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United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)


1) Promoting cross-sectoral cooperation with the health, environment, agriculture, forestry, energy, industry and housing sectors

The UNECE promotes the integrated management of water resources by developing activities in close cooperation with international and national actors active in other policy sectors. In this action, the UNECE commits to continuing and further strengthening cooperation between its water programme and a) its other environmental activities and other sectoral activities, and b) international partners active in the region, in particular through UN Water and the ENVSEC Initiative.

2) Development of transboundary water cooperation in the Dniester, Drin, Kura and Central Asian transboundary waters

The UNECE supports countries sharing waters (both Parties and non-Parties to the Water Convention) to strengthen their transboundary cooperation through the development of new agreements or the revision of existing ones and the development of the institutional frameworks for cooperation. The Action focuses on the development of cooperation on the Dniester basin, the Drin basin, the Kura basin, the Chu and Talas rivers, and between the Central Asian countries on dam safety, water quality, as well as on the modernization of regional institutions.

3) Promoting transboundary cooperation in adaptation to climate change

This pilot project aims to jointly assess climate change impacts and vulnerability and develop and implement adaptation strategies in transboundary basins jointly by all riparian countries. Through this action, the UNECE commits itself to continue promoting adaptation to climate change in the transboundary context by fostering concrete action on the ground and an exchange of experience.

4) Promoting the achievement of water-related MDGs through the reform of the water sector and the development of concrete targets and target dates

As a means of assisting countries to achieve water-related Millenium Development Goals (MDGs), the UNECE commits itself to further support countries in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in their National Policy Dialogues and in their efforts to accede to and implement the Protocol on Water and Health.

5) Promoting the role of the UNECE Water Convention beyond the UNECE region at the global level

The importance of the UNECE Water Convention as a unique framework for transboundary cooperation is recognized also beyond the UNECE region, especially in neighbouring countries. Via this action, the UNECE commits itself to continue promoting the entry into force of the amendments, to promote the Convention and its principles outside the UNECE region and to prepare for the enlargement to countries outside the UNECE region.

Progress reports:


Actions 1, 2, and 5 were listed as "In Progress" in the 2013 report, while actions 3 and 4 were not reported on. Projects that have taken place for the first action include joint impact and vulnerability assessments and the development of a basin-wide adaptation strategy. Two global workshops on water and climate change were also organized in 2011–2013. Several treaties, Memorandums of Understanding, and bilateral agreements have been signed by countries involved with the various rivers on which Action 2 focuses. Finally, the report details five sub-regional workshops for non-UNECE countries that took place between December 2011 and January 2013, and six river basin that have recently joined the UNECE Water Convention network.


To be submitted.

Challenges and lessons learned:

A lack of support at the national level, a lack of financial resources, and a low knowledge of the UN Water Convention at the global level were listed as key challenges. Lessons learned included the fact that institutional and cultural differences can be overcome by focusing on common interests and expert coordination. Further insights were that inter-agency cooperation at the national level could use some improvement and that all Parties to the Water Convention in 2003 must ratify the amendments before non-UNECE countries will be able to accede to the Convention.

Links for the UNECE:

Download the full text of the UNECE's actions as part of AWA: ENG

Download the UNECE's 2013 AWA progress report:

Action 1: ENG       Action 2: ENG       Action 5: ENG

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