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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 will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 10-12 October 2018. The meeting is organized by the Kazakh Ministry of Agriculture, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), which services the Water Convention.

It will be preceded, on 9 October, by a half-day high-level workshop on financing transboundary basin development,  jointly organized by Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the Asian Development Bank, GEF IW:LEARN, the European Investment Bank, the World Bank and the Water Convention secretariat.

More than 400 representatives of Ministries responsible for water, foreign affairs and development cooperation - from both Parties and non-Parties to the Convention - together with representatives of joint bodies, international and non-governmental organizations and academia from all regions of the world are expected to attend.

The Water Convention represents a key United Nations legal and institutional framework promoting the quantity, quality and sustainable use of transboundary water resources by facilitating cooperation. It is a unique instrument for supporting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) - in particular SDG target 6.5 which calls for transboundary water cooperation - the prevention of conflicts and the promotion of peace and regional integration.

Originally negotiated as a regional framework for the pan-European region, it was amended to allow accession by all United Nations Member States. The eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties in Astana will mark a historical milestone in the Convention’s development as it will see the participation of the first Parties from Africa.

The Meeting will consider different aspects of transboundary water cooperation that have been in the 2016-2018 Convention’s programme of work, such as the benefits of transboundary cooperation, the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus, climate change adaptation and industrial safety. Progress in implementing the Water Convention and transboundary water cooperation more broadly will be reviewed, notably by launching the first report on the implementation of the Water Convention, and by discussing the first reporting on SDG indicator 6.5.2, jointly supported by UNECE and UNESCO (the two co-custodian agencies for indicator 6.5.2). Finally, the meeting will adopt a strategy for the implementation of the Convention at the global level and the Convention’s programme of work for 2019-2021.

The high-level segment on 10 October will discuss how to share waters in the context of growing water scarcity, the relevant impacts on development, peace and stability and how the Convention can promote reasonable, equitable and sustainable water allocation and benefit sharing.

For practical arrangements, please consult the detailed updated practical information note available in English, French, Russian and Spanish.

General information of the 8th Meeting of the Parties is available on the following host country website: http://8mop.waterconvention.org/index.php/en/

High-level segment
Item 1. Opening of the session and adoption of the agenda
Annotated provision agenda for the eighth session
Item 2. Status of ratification of the Convention and its Protocols and report on credentials
Informal document
Status of ratification of the Water Convention, its Protocol and amendments
Item 3. Adoption of revised rules of procedure
Draft revised rules of procedures of the Meeting of the Parties
Item 4. Special session: Transboundary water cooperation: Sharing water for people, planet, prosperity and peace
Informal document
Concept Note of the Special High-Level Session
Programme of the high-level segment
General Segment
Documents for all the following agenda items
Report on the implementation of the programme of work 2016–2018, including partnerships
Overview of contributions and expenditures in 2016–2018
Draft programme of work for 2019–2021
Programme of work for 2016–2018
Report of the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management on its eleventh meeting
Report of the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management on its twelfth meeting
Report of the second joint meeting of the Working Group on Integrated Water Resources Management and the Working Group on Monitoring and Assessment
Item 5. Reporting under the Convention and on Sustainable Development Goal indicator 6.5.2
Draft decision on reporting and revised template for reporting under the Convention
Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals
Progress on transboundary water cooperation: Global baseline for SDG indicator 6.5.2 (ECE/MP.WAT/57)
Special advance version for the 2018 Stockholm World Water Week

see publication
Progress on transboundary water cooperation under the Water Convention (ECE/MP.WAT/51)
Sustainable Development Goal 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and SanitationPDF
Informal document
Report of the technical meeting on the template for reporting on Sustainable Development Goal indicator 6.5.2 and under the Water Convention, jointly prepared by ECE and UNESCO (Budapest, 16–17 January 2018)
Item 6. Opening of the Convention, promotion and partnerships
Draft strategy for the implementation of the Convention at the global level
Draft decision on the designation and responsibilities of focal points
The Economic Commission for Europe Water Convention and the United Nations Watercourses Convention: An analysis of their harmonized contribution to international water law
see publication
The Global Opening of the 1992 Water Convention (brochure)
see brochure
The Water Convention- Responding to global water challenges

see brochure
Informal document
GEF and the Water Convention
(ECE/MP.WAT/2018/ INF.3)
Item 7. Implementation and compliance
Report of the Implementation Committee to the Meeting of the Parties and draft decision on implementation (ECE/MP.WAT/2018/8)PDFPDFPDF
Report of the Implementation Committee on its sixth meeting
Report of the Implementation Committee on its seventh meeting
Report of the Implementation Committee on its eighth meeting
Report of the Implementation Committee on its ninth meeting
Decision VI/1 on support to implementation and compliance
(see ECE/MP.WAT/37/Add.2)
Informal document
List of candidates for the Implementation Committee (ECE/MP.WAT/2018/INF.4)
Item 8. Supporting implementation and application of the Convention through projects on the ground and capacity development
Principles for effective joint bodies for transboundary cooperation
see publication

Item 9. European Union Water Initiative and National Policy Dialogues
Item 10. Water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus in transboundary basins
Methodology for assessing the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus in transboundary basins and experiences from its application: Synthesis
Reconciling Different Resource Uses in Transboundary Basins: Assessment of the Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystems Nexus

see publication
Item 11. Identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary cooperation
Identifying, assessing and communicating the benefits of transboundary water cooperation - Lessons learnt and recommendations
Policy Guidance Note on the Benefits of Transboundary Water Cooperation: Identification, Assessment and Communication

see publication

Item 12. Adapting to climate change in transboundary basins
Strategy for future work on climate change adaptation in transboundary basins under the Convention (ECE/MP.WAT/2015/4)PDFPDFPDF-
Implementation Guide for Addressing Water-Related Disasters and Transboundary Cooperation (ECE/MP.WAT/56)
Water and Climate Change Adaptation in Transboundary Basins: Lessons Learned and Good Practices (ECE/MP.WAT/45)see publication
How to prepare bankable projects for climate change adaptation in transboundary basins
Item 13. Water and industrial accidents
Draft safety guidelines and good practices for the management and retention of firefighting water: general recommendations
Draft safety guidelines and good practices for the management and retention of firefighting water: technical and organizational recommendations
Item 14. International Water Assessment Centre
Draft workplan of the International Water Assessment Centre for 2019–2021
(ECE/MP.WAT/ 2018/11)
Item 15. Programme of work for 2019–2021, terms of reference of the bodies established to implement it and resources needed for its implementation
Draft programme of work for 2019–2021
Overview of contributions and expenditures in 2016–2018

The Meeting will feature a high-level segment that will focus on the importance of transboundary water cooperation, and particularly the role played by the Water Convention, to guarantee that the sharing of water resources and their derived benefits contributes to the well-being of people and the planet and helps to improve prosperity and foster peace.

The high-level segment will provide an opportunity for a strategic discussion between Parties; other States, including prospective Parties from all regions; international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and academia. It will consist of two moderated high-level panel discussions, followed by interventions from the floor, with guiding questions.

Delegations are encouraged to submit text of their interventions for the high-level segment in electronic form to the secretariat (water.convention@un.org) prior to the meeting. In light of the limited time available, interventions from the floor should not exceed three minutes. In order to facilitate the running of the high-level segment, delegations planning to make a statement are invited to inform the secretariat in advance.

High-level speakers are also invited to bring an object to illustrate their presentation and its main messages during the panel discussions and in their interventions from the floor. These objects will be become part of a piece of work illustrating the progress in and challenges of transboundary water cooperation worldwide.

Panel discussion 1-Transboundary water cooperation and water allocation: preventing conflict and ensuring peace and stability

Recently, two important panels have sent strong political messages on this topic. The High-Level Panel on Water has stressed that the strengthening of transboundary water cooperation can be a powerful tool for reaching the Sustainable Development Goals and the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace has emphasized the role of water as a driver of peace and highlighted the importance of international water law and the principles, norms and institutions that it has developed in promoting stability and preventing conflicts.

A key dimension of transboundary cooperation is the need to share water and benefits it generates in a reasonable, equitable and sustainable manner. Balancing different water needs and responding to water-food-energy-ecosystem interdependencies is a common challenge in the face of increasing demands from different sectors, growing water scarcity and climate variability.
Development in transboundary basins also requires innovative financial instruments that recognize the need for transboundary water cooperation and foster coordination between all countries and sectors in the basin in order to ensure that investments have positive and sustainable impact. In that connection, participants will be informed about the outcomes of the High-level workshop on financing transboundary basin development (Astana, 9 October 2018).

Panel discussion 2- Sharing waters in the context of growing water scarcity – how can transboundary water cooperation make a difference?

Water scarcity already affects every continent, including regions that have been traditionally water-rich, and is of growing concern. Population growth, rising incomes and expanding cities are driving an unprecedented rise in water demands, while supply is becoming more erratic and uncertain owing to climate change and variability. About 2 billion people are currently living in water-stressed areas and it is anticipated that by 2025, half of the world’s population will do so. While scarcity has the potential to aggravate conflicts between riparian countries, cooperation can increase water use efficiency and become an important part of the solution in addressing this global challenge.
Building on experience with implementation of the Water Convention and with transboundary water cooperation in general, the session will provide an opportunity to consider ways of sharing and allocating limited water resources among countries and sectors in transboundary basins, with due regard for the environment, and to examine the ways in which cooperation can increase the resilience of society.

A programme of side events will complement the official agenda. The deadline for submitting proposals was 15 August.

An overview of the scheduled side events can be found below. Event descriptions, programmes and information on the languages will be made available in due course.

An overview of the side event rooms can be found here.


Overview of side events
Event titleRoomLanguages
Wednesday, 10 October, 1.30-2.45 pm
Special Event: Learn more about the Water Convention1
Water-Food-Energy-Ecosystem Nexus: Benefits for resource security across borders2
An impactful relationship: Fostering Source-to-Sea of Management of Transboundary Basins3
Thursday 11 October, 8.30-9.45 am
Transboundary Water Governance in Africa (title tbc)1
Transboundary Water Governance in Latin America2
National Policy Dialogues under the EU Water Initiative: Achievements, lessons learned and benefits for transboundary cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development3
Thursday 11 October, 1.30-2.45 pm
7th GEF replenishment cycle (title tbc)1
Climate change in transboundary basins (title tbc)2
Youth in transboundary cooperation3
Results of the Summit of the Heads of State of Central Asia: Practical solutions and prospects for regional water cooperationmain room (4)


Friday 12 October, 8.30-9.45 am
Biodiversity and Transboundary Water Cooperation1
Implementation Committee (title tbc)2
Kick-starting Transboundary Cooperation: Establishing sound institutional and legal frameworks3
Friday 12 October, 1.30-2.45 pm
Transboundary Water Cooperation and the Global Observatory on Water and Peace1
Opportunities for Water Diplomacy in Conflict-prone Regions2
Side Event for the Parties to the (1997) UN Watercourses Convention (by invitation only)3

Practical information:

Please consult the updated practical information note available in English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Meeting venue and registrations:

The meeting will be held at the Astana EXPO Congress Center, 44 Sauran street, Astana, Kazakhstan (https://expo2017astana.com/en/page_id=65). Access to the meeting venue will only be granted to registered participants who bring along a personal identification document.

Delegates attending the meeting are requested to register by 20 September 2018 using the following link: https://uncdb.unece.org/app/ext/meeting-registration?id=QiWYQM

For assistance with registration, please contact the secretariat by e-mail (Mayola.lidome@un.org)

Participants are encouraged to register as soon as possible but not later than on 20 September 2018.

Visa arrangements:

Participants requiring entry visas to Kazakhstan should indicate it clearly in the registration form and initiate visa procedures at least five weeks before the meeting. Kazakhstan visas are usually processed in 5 to 8 business days. The host country will provide participants with an invitation letter, which should be used to apply for a visa at the nearest consular office of the Republic of Kazakhstan please check: http://mfa.gov.kz/files/593d8bed31d77.pdf.

For nationals arriving from a country without a consular office of the Republic of Kazakhstan, visa can be obtained on arrival at the International Airports in Astana and Almaty cities. In this case, visa support will be provided to the registered participants by the host country. For obtaining visa support please fill the visa information form and send it to UNECE secretariat (Tolganay.rysbekova@un.org).

Visa-free regime

Citizens of the following countries have the right to entry to the Republic of Kazakhstan without visa for up to thirty days:
Australia; Austria; Belgium; Bulgaria; Canada; Chile; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Latvia; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malaysia; Malta; Mexico; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Poland; Portugal; Republic of Korea; Romania; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey; United Arab Emirates; United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; United States of America

Visa free entry

Citizens of the following countries and territories can visit Kazakhstan without a visa:
Argentina (up to 30 days), Armenia (up to 90 days), Azerbaijan (up to 30 days), Belarus (up to 90 days), Brazil (up to 30 days), Ecuador (up to 30 days), Georgia (up to 90 days) Kyrgyzstan (up to 90 days), Mongolia (up to 90 days), Republic of Korea (up to 30 days), Republic of Moldova (up to 90 days), Russian federation (up to 90 days), Serbia (up to 30 days), Tajikistan (up to 30 days), Turkey (up to 30 days), Ukraine (up to 90 days), United Arab Emirates (up to 30 days) and Uzbekistan (up to 30 days).


We have pre-reserved a number of rooms in the following hotels:
•    Hilton Astana Hotel (Reservation form in English / in Russian)
•    Soluxe Hotel Astana Beijing Palace (Reservation form in English / in Russian)
•    Grand Park Esil Hotel (Reservation form in English / in Russian)



Hilton Astana Hotel


Soluxe Hotel Astana
Beijing Palace
Address: 46 Sauran street,
Astana Kazakhstan
single room: 120$ / room / night
double room: 140$ / room / night
breakfast: included
location: next to the conference venue
(2 minutes walking distance)
Address: 27 Sagynak street,
Astana, Kazakhstan
single room: 110$ / room / night
double room: 130$ / room / night
breakfast: included
location: 15 minutes by shuttle bus
or 10 minutes by taxi (3-4$).


Grand Park Esil Hotel


Address: 8 Beibitshilik street,
Astana, Kazakhstan
single room: 80$ /room / night
double room: 80$ / room / night
breakfast: included
location: 25 minutes by shuttle bus
or 20 minutes by taxi (4-5$).




In accordance with the rules of procedure for the sessions of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention, credentials of all representatives of Parties and the names of alternate representatives and advisers shall be submitted to the secretariat.

To facilitate the procedure of verification of credentials, Parties to the Convention are requested to inform the secretariat of the name(s) of their representative(s) at their earliest convenience, and to submit the credentials or copy of them to the secretariat (water.convention@un.org), in advance of the session, preferably by 1 October 2018. Those Parties that submitted a copy of their credentials should present the originals to the secretariat upon arrival at the meeting in Astana.

Credentials, which are normally issued either by the Head of State or Government or by the Minister for Foreign Affairs or any other person duly empowered in accordance with national legislation to do so, should indicate the composition of the delegation, including the Head of delegation, and should state that the respective delegation is empowered to participate in the meeting and to take decisions on behalf of the respective Government, following the applicable the rules of procedure (see an example of credentials in English, Russian and French)

For more details on practical information please consult the updated practical information note available English, French, Russian and Spanish.

At its eighth session, the Meeting of the Parties will consider the composition of its Implementation Committee and elect 5 members of the Committee to replace the members whose term ends at the eighth session.

The relevant procedure is set out in Decision VI/1 (ECE/MP.WAT/37/Add.2, E, F, R), adopted by the Meeting of the Parties at its sixth session. Accordingly, nominations for Implementation Committee members should be sent to the secretariat at water.convention@un.org by no later than 18 July 2018 i.e. 12 weeks before the opening of the eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties during which the election is to take place.

Each nomination should be accompanied by the curriculum vitae of the candidate (not exceeding 600 words) and may include supporting material. The secretariat will distribute the nominations and the curricula vitae with the supporting material, if any, as soon as they become available.

More information can be found in the attached note (E, F, R).

The following candidatures have been received by the Water Convention secretariat:

Name of candidateProposing PartyCurriculum vitae and supporting material
Mr. Pedro Cunha SerraPortugalCurriculum vitae
Mr. Kari KinnunenFinlandCurriculum vitae
Mr. Martins PaparinskisLatviaCurriculum vitae
Publication and talks
Mr. Ivan ZavadskySlovakiaCurriculum vitae

Information on the role and responsibilities of the Implementation Committee can be found here.



An exhibition space will be available during the Meeting of the Parties in which interested countries and organizations will have an opportunity to organize exhibits related to the topic of the Meeting.

Proposals to hold exhibits in the exhibitions space need to be submitted by 15 September 2018 to s.abdizhalelova@iwac.kz using the following form (English form or Russian form).

The exhibition space will be made available free of charge by the Kazakh host. Specific equipment (e.g. screens, computers, specific furniture) can be rented for a fee from the local organizer.

Any question about the exhibitions can be addressed to s.abdizhalelova@iwac.kz.