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Eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention

10 - 12 October 2018

Astana, Kazakhstan


The eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (MOP8) serviced by UNECE took place on 10-12 October 2018 in Astana, Kazakhstan. The meeting was held back to back with the high-level workshop on financing transboundary basin development on 9 October.

Unprecedented interests from countries to accede to the Water Convention
This Meeting of the Parties was the first one held in Asia. Around 88 countries, Parties and non-Parties to the Convention, participated along with representatives of joint bodies, International  and Non-Governmental Organizations, Academia, the private sector and youth. Moreover, more than 15 countries from outside the Pan-European region announced their interest to ratify the Water Convention.

New programme of work and strategy to further strengthen water cooperation
The Meeting of the Parties reviewed progress achieved in the Convention’s implementation and past activities. Delegates addressed a wide variety of topics including supporting accession to and implementation of the Convention; assessing the benefits of transboundary water cooperation; promoting climate change adaptation in a transboundary context; assessing the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in transboundary basins or improving water governance through the National Policy Dialogues under the European Union Water Initiative.

An ambitious programme of work for 2019-2021 was adopted in Astana including a new programme area on ‘facilitating financing of transboundary water cooperation’. The Meeting of the Parties also adopted a new strategy for the implementation of the Water Convention at global level that aims to strengthen cooperation and partnerships for the management of transboundary waters worldwide in order to promote sustainable development, peace and security.

Reporting and new publications:
The meeting saw the launch of the first report on implementation of the Convention. Furthermore, parties and non-parties shared their experience on reporting respectively under the Convention and under SDG Indicator 6.5.2, to which UNECE is a co-custodian agency together with UNESCO. In their statements, States underlined that the reporting exercises was a way of identifying the gaps in their transboundary cooperation and take them as opportunities to drive action.

The Meeting of the Parties also launched three other new publications : the Words into Action-implementation guide on addressing water-related disasters and transboundary cooperation prepared with the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction; an updated methodology on assessing the water-food-energy ecosystem nexus and a brochure on identifying, assessing and communicating benefits of cooperation.

Other main decisions:
The Meeting of the Parties adopted the revised rules of procedure of the Water Convention as well as the decision on the designation and responsibilities of focal points. A decision on reporting including the adoption of the revised template for reporting under the Convention was also adopted. Finally, the Meeting of the Parties adopted the work programme for the International Water Assessment Center (IWAC) for 2019-2021.

Press release available here.