About Us

The UNWC Online User’s Guide

The UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC)  is a global treaty adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1997. It is a framework convention governing international watercourses. The UNWC constitutes a global legal mechanism for facilitating the equitable and sustainable management transboundary rivers and lakes around the world. The Convention’s principal objective is to strengthen cooperation between states over their shared water resources following key principles of international law and prevent potential conflicts.

Despite the strong support the UNWC received during the adoption process in 1997, it has not yet entered into force. The UNWC User’s Guide was designed to enhance the understanding of the Convention’s text and promote the UNWC to relevant actors around the world, in the hopes of a swift entry into force of the UNWC.

In July 2012, it was decided that a website should accompany the User’s Guide. The purpose of that website would be to enhance the accessibility of the User’s Guide and the Convention and support the efforts to promote the UNWC to stakeholders around the world. It was hoped that the website would provide the tools and analysis necessary to disseminate knowledge and understanding of the UNWC.

A year later, with help from a web design team from Zenelements and in close collaboration with Flavia Rocha Loures (WWF), Marie-Laure Vercambre (Green Cross), Lesha Witmer (consultant), and many others, the UNWC Online User’ Guide was launched at the 5th Annual International Law & Transboundary Freshwaters Workshop at the University of Dundee.

The Online User’s Guide is intended for anyone wishing to gain more insight into the content and relevance of the Convention’s text. In addition to the Convention’s text and the analysis provided by the User’s Guide, the website also includes exclusive media content, fact sheets and resources so as to complement and add to the analysis on the role and relevance of the UN Watercourses Convention.

The team in charge of the Online User’s Guide strives to make the website’s content as accessible, interactive and understandable as possible. If you have any queries or comments, do not hesitate to contact us.


Meet the Team


AlistaiAlistair Rieu-Clarker Rieu-Clarke, one of the authors of the UNWC User’s Guide (2012), is a Reader in International Law at the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science at the University of Dundee, UK. He holds an LLB in Scots Law, an LLM in Natural Resources Law and Policy (with distinction), and a PhD in Sustainable Development, Water and International Law. Alistair’s research interests focus on assessing the effectiveness of transboundary watercourse treaty regimes, and he has published extensively in the field of international law and water resources management. He also teaches the postgraduate module International Law of Freshwater Resources, which examines the most salient rules and principles pertaining to transboundary (State-State) freshwater resources.

To contact Alistair: a.rieuclarke@dundee.ac.uk

Rémy KRemy Kinnainna is Humanitarian Program Management Coordinator (East Asia) for Oxfam Australia. Prior to this, he was a Researcher in the Global Governance of International Watercourses at the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science. He holds an LLB, a BSc (Hons) in Geography and Development Studies, and a Diploma in Languages (French) from Monash University in Australia and a LLM (Marine & Environmental Law) from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Rémy’s research interests focus on the role of treaty and customary law in the governance of international watercourses. Previously, he worked with UNEP’s Division of Environmental Law and Conventions and the University of Cape Town’s Institute for Marine and Environmental Law. Wherever he is in the world, Rémy remains an avid follower of the Essendon Bombers in the Australian Football League.

ArieAriel Litke Picl Litke was an intern at the Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science. He is currently pursuing a M.A (research track) in Human Rights at the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) of Sciences Po, Paris. In 2012, he graduated top of his class at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, where he majored in International Relations, and was awarded the prize for best Bachelor’s Thesis (Law). He is thrilled to be contributing to this project and is positive that the website will be the pivotal force leading to the entry into force of the Convention. Ariel’s hobbies include triathlon, drinking half-a-dozen cups of coffee a day and binge-watching Seinfeld episodes.




The Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science (CWLPS), created in 2006, is building a new generation of water leaders through excellence in research and teaching. It is located within the Graduate School of Natural Resources Law, Policy and Management at the University of Dundee, UK. It is the first UNESCO ‘category II’ centre to be established in the UK and operates under the auspices of UNESCO. The Centre works with stakeholders and experts both within Scotland and throughout the world.

The Centre has a strong focus on research, and one of its core purposes is to provide high quality and reliable insights into different aspects of water law, policy and science. Researchers at the Centre lead and participate in projects covering a wide variety of topics, including transboundary water governance, integrated water and coastal zone management, ecosystems services, biodiversity and shared groundwater. They work in a range of geographical locations, ranging from South-East Asia, Africa, and India to the borders between England and Scotland.

The Centre is part of the UNESCO IHP-HELP (Hydrology for the Environment, Life and Policy) Programme, which adopts a new approach to integrated catchment management. The HELP Programme provides a framework within catchments (which include not only aquatic but also related terrestrial ecosystems) for water law and policy experts, water resource managers and water scientists to work together on locally defined water-related problems.

The Centre currently offers an LLM in Water Law, which is a full-time on-campus programme and allows students to study water law and natural resources law and policy.

The Centre also offers PhD supervision. PhDs can study full-time or part-time in a highly distinguished and competitive programme.

To learn more about the Centre’s research projects and to discuss research collaborations, contact water@dundee.ac.uk.

For further information on programmes taught within the Centre, please see www.dundee.ac.uk/water/courses/

For more information on pursuing a PhD at the Centre, please see http://www.dundee.ac.uk/water/research/


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WWF UN Water Law Green Cross University of Dundee IHP-HELP - Under the auspices of UNESCO