Introduction to the UNWC Online User's Guide

The Online User’s Guide to the UN Watercourses Convention was produced as part of the UNWC Global Initiative – a collaborative project to promote the UN Watercourses Convention with a view to securing additional state ratifications1 and the instrument’s eventual entry into force. The initiative has sought to mobilise governments and other stakeholders through efforts to raise awareness and build capacity on the use, management, and protection of international watercourses generally, and on the relevance of the UN Watercourses Convention in particular.

The User’s Guide is designed to support this effort by providing widespread accessibility and enhanced understanding of the text of the Convention; so as to ensure that when decisions are taken as to the relevance of the Convention, such decisions are fully informed. The Online User’s Guide is therefore written for policymakers and decision makers, implementation agencies, and bodies responsible for transboundary water issues. It is hoped that the document will also be useful for managers and stakeholders of other sectors with a direct relevance to water, such as health, environment, agriculture, food, energy, fisheries and industrial water users. The guide is also intended to be used for educational purposes, thus raising awareness and capacity around the UN Watercourses Convention and its implementation.

The main purpose of this website is to act as a tool supplementing the UN Watercourses Convention User’s Guide, which can be downloaded as a PDF file or ordered as a hardcopy. By providing additional resources and regularly including media content, the Online User’s Guide aims at responding to the rapidly evolving circumstances surrounding the entry into force of the UN Watercourses Convention and enhancing knowledge and understanding of the Convention by relevent stakeholders and the general public alike. The website also offers a plateform whereby topics can be discussed and posts commented by viewers, so as to feed into the broader discussion regarding the role and relevance of the UN Watercourses Convention.

1Throughout the guide ‘ratification’ is used as a simplified term but may also include ‘accession’, ‘approval’ and ‘acceptance’ – for the legal differences between these terms see the Glossary of Terms.

For an explanation of the ratification process of the UN Watercourses Convention (UNWC), history of ratifications and ratification status, and explanations as to why the UNWC is not yet in force, see the following  ‘Ratification Status and Entry into Force’ Fact Sheet.

Video: Ruby Moynihan Video: Ruby Moynihan Introduction to the UNWC User’s Guide

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Ratification Status and Entry into Force


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