The seventh session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes took place on November 17-19, 2015, in Budapest, Hungary, at the Budapest Congress Centre.
Following the entry into force in 2013 of the amendment allowing accession to the convention by all United Nations member states, this session of the Meeting of the Parties marked the convention's transition into a global multilateral legal and intergovernmental framework for transboundary water cooperation. More than 80 countries, both parties and non-parties to the convention, discussed progress achieved in the convention's implementation and assessed how the convention can best support transboundary water cooperation worldwide. The session brought together around 400 participants representing countries, international organisations, NGOs and academia, as well as representatives of the REC.
Dr. Radoje Lausevic, REC deputy executive director - Environmental Policy Directorate, addressed the MOP on Thursday, November 19, on behalf of the REC. In his statement he confirmed the REC's readiness to continue supporting strategic partnerships for the effective implementation of the 1992 UNECE Water Convention. Dr. Lausevic also highlighted that in its 2016-2020 Strategy the REC commits to giving increased attention to water-related issues.
The workshop "Promoting transboundary water cooperation in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region on the basis of the Water Convention" was held back to back with the seventh session of the MOP. The workshop took place on Monday, November 16, at the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture and was organised by Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea in cooperation with the REC. Dr. Lausevic reported on the workshop outputs to the MOP, stressing that the workshop provided an excellent venue for representatives from MENA countries, intergovernmental and international organisations, as well as the civil sector, to assess current progress towards accession to the UNECE Water Convention in the MENA region.
Dr. Lausevic also presented the main common issues related to accession to the UNECE Water Convention, as well as to the interpretation and implementation of the convention.