Newsletter of the Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health
Issue no. #7 (August to 31 October 2019)
In this 7th issue of the Water Convention Newsletter, enjoy news from activities carried out under the Water Convention and its Protocol on Water and Health from 1 August to 31 October 2019.

The Secretariat of the Water Convention
Belgrade to host the 5th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health on 19-21 November!
One week is left before the 5 th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health to be held in Belgrade, Serbia on 19-21 November. This key pan-European intergovernmental meeting will discuss how the Protocol can best support countries to improve access to safe water and sanitation and achieve water and health related Sustainable Development Goals. It will also highlight achievements and reflect on challenges, identifying areas for action by reviewing the progress attained in the implementation of the Protocol. Representatives of over 40 countries – from Protocol Parties and other States, NGOs, development agencies, academia and private sector will gather to shape and advance the water, sanitation and health agenda in the region.
Find more information on the topics to be discussed and registration here .
The Water Convention secretariat at Stockholm World Water Week
With the theme Water for Society: Including all , the 24th World Water Week gathered around 4000 participants in Stockholm. This year, the Water Convention secretariat organized and contributed to several events on different topics including equitable access to water and sanitation to highlight the importance for governments to consider inequities to fully realize the human rights to water and sanitation. Furthermore, the issue of financing transboundary water cooperation was debated during an interactive event with more than 80 participants, organized with key partners such as Switzerland, the Netherlands, the World Bank, ADB, AfDB, EIB, GEF, OECD and WWF. Finally, the secretariat also contributed to For example a panel discussion where the interactions between climate change adaptation and water resources management were discussed.
More information on the main outcomes of the different events here ..
The 2 nd meeting of the Drafting Group of the Guide to reporting under the Water Convention and on SDG indicator 6.5.2 takes place in Geneva
A Guide to reporting has been developed to facilitate the preparation of and enhance the quality of the national reports for the second reporting exercise . At the 2 nd meeting of the Drafting group (3-4 September 2019, Geneva), 40 representatives from all regions of the world sharing transboundary further elaborated the draft Guide to reporting, which was prepared after the 1 st drafting group (9-10 May 2019, Geneva). The Guide to reporting was then reviewed at the 14 th Working Group on IWRM (22-24 October, Geneva) before being published and sent out as a supporting material for the second reporting exercise, starting at the end of 2019.
Transboundary water affairs at the heart of the Budapest Water Summit
For its third edition, the Budapest Water Summit focused on how to prevent the water crises. Hosting more than 2400 participants from 118 countries, the Summit covered many issues. Transboundary water cooperation were also discussed during a specific session focusing on how to move from risks to opportunities. M. Kire Ilioski, Director of the Office of the Executive Secretary delivered a keynote speech highlighting the crucial role played by the Water Convention in strengthening and improving transboundary water cooperation at basin level to prevent and address water crisis and achieve regional peace and stability. A special side event on the Water Convention was also organized in the margins of the summit.
Full video of the session on transboundary water affairs available here .
First meeting of the Expert Group on the Transboundary Water Allocation Handbook is a success!
On 25 October 2019, the secretariat convened the first in a series of meetings involving experts in water allocation who will provide technical oversight and advice in the development of a Handbook on Transboundary Water Allocation to be published in 2021. The Handbook will be a practical guide for water practitioners, particularly those working on transboundary water, building on topics and case studies discussed at the Global Workshop held in 2017 . It will cover key topics, relevant additional resources and illustrative case studies for practitioners to consider in assessing the role and relevance of applying transboundary water allocation in different contexts. More information can be found in the Concept Note .
Pan-European countries meet to discuss how to report on SDG indicator 6.5.2
To build capacity in support of the monitoring and implementation of transboundary water cooperation, on SDG indicator 6.5.2 and under the Water Convention , UNECE gathered more than 40 representatives from 26 countries and organisations from Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia. The workshop reflected on the results of the 1 st reporting exercise, exchanged experiences on enhancing compatibility of results among neighbours, and discussed how to make the most of reporting. To prepare for the 2 nd reporting exercise, taking place in 2020, participants were informed on the revised and recently developed guidance materials. This workshop was organised as part of a series of regional meetings in the framework of UN-Water Monitoring Initiative for SDG6 .
74 countries actively contribute to the 14 th meeting of Working group on IWRM under the Water Convention
On 22-24 October, the the 14 th meeting of the Working group on Integrated Water Resource Management (WGIWRM) under the Water Convention was held in Geneva. The meeting brought together more than 160 participants from 74 countries and many organizations to take stock of the implantation of the Water Convention Programme of Work 2019-2021 . Key topics were discussed such as the importance of financing transboundary water cooperation, the water-food-energy-ecosystems nexus and the fundamental role that national focal points play in advocating and communicating about the Water Convention. Furthermore, more than 15 countries expressed interest and shared their progress in acceding to j the Water Convention!
More information on the decisions taken during the meeting here .
National Policy Dialogues under the European Union Water Initiative plus for the Eastern Partnership programme: working together to satisfy water needs for people and ecosystems
In October, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia hosted their respective 5 th and 18 th Meetings of the Steering Committees of the National Policy Dialogue (NPD) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) under the EUWI+ programme. In Chisinau, among others next steps in improving quality, accessibility and affordability of water and water services for Moldovan citizens through better management of water resources were discussed. Furthermore, high-level speakers shared achievements in the water sector reform over the 10 years of EU Eastern Partnership. In Yerevan, the meeting took stock of major progress in Armenia’s water resources management over a decade of EU Eastern Partnership. In addition, an update on the implementation of the road map of five EU Water Directives in Armenia under the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was provided.
More information on the respective meetings and stakeholders is available under here.
UNECE presents recommendations for the sustainable future of the Drina River Basin
The closing workshop of the Drina River Basin Nexus follow-up project (2018-2019) , funded by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea and implemented by UNECE, convened around 45 policy makers, power companies, financial institutions, international organizations and civil society representatives from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and Serbia. The high-level dialogue on inter-sectoral and transboundary cooperation focused on concrete opportunities for sustainable development in the basin and the coordination of policies and investments across countries and across the sectors of energy generation, land management, water management, and environment protection. Better monitoring and information exchange in the basin is crucial for sustainability of investment; the erosion map produced is a step forward.
More information on the outcomes of the workshop here .
Other projects and activities under the Water Convention and the Protocol on Water and Health

  • The Water Convention secretariat took part in the recent meeting of the Executive Secretaries of the River Basin Commissions in Koblenz, Germany (22-23 August 2019) to discuss among others climate change adaptation, water scarcity, source-to-see approach, fish migration, alien species, plastic waste, sediment management and transboundary pollution.

  • The Water Convention Secretariat took part in INBO World General Assembly held in Marrakech (30 September-3 October 2019). The secretariat contributed to a special workshop on the 9th World Water Forum theme focusing on cooperation and the secretary moderated the High-Level Session on “Hydro-diplomacy, international and transboundary cooperation for water security”.

  • On 16-18 October, GWP-Med and partners organized the 3rd Regional Nexus Roundtable in South East Europe in Tirana, Albania, where countries discussed the benefits, challenges, and opportunities of applying a nexus approach to natural resource management in the region, informed also by the experience from nexus work under the Water Convention.

  • On 29 October, the Ministry of Health of Belarus and UNECE co-organized a multi-stakeholder workshop in Minsk to discuss the findings of the self-assessment exercise on equitable access to water and sanitation and the newly set targets under the Protocol on Water and Health.

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