25 and Counting: Another Ratification for the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention

For those of you keeping a count, the 1997 Watercourses Convention now enjoys 25 parties [see Status of the Convention here]. On 30 April 2012, Denmark submitted its notice of accession to the Convention.  This comes on the heels of 6 other ratifications over the past 2 years: Burkina Faso, France, and Morocco in 2011; and Greece, Guinea-Bissau, and Nigeria in 2010. The other parties to the Convention include:  Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Qatar, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Syria, Tunisia, and Uzbekistan. In addition, five nations have signed but not yet ratified the Convention: Côte d’Ivoire, Luxembourg, Paraguay, Venezuela, and Yemen.

Denmark is the first nation in 2012 to ratify the instrument. But it may not be the last. In 2011, Benin’s parliament authorized its government to ratify the treaty. Other countries also are considering ratification. If this rate continues, the treaty may enter in force in the next few years. Under Article 36(1) of the Convention, the treaty will become binding on all ratifying parties ninety days following the 35th ratification. That day may be coming soon.

Incidentally, it is interesting (but not surprising) that when it filed its notice of accession, Denmark also submitted a notice excluding from its accession application of the Convention to the Faroe Islands and Greenland [see notice here].

One Response to “25 and Counting: Another Ratification for the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention”

  1. Lesha Witmer says:

    In addition to the info given: the parlaiment of Luxemburg approved ratification of the UN WC on the 16 March 2012 and Luxemburg is now finalising the process (expected any day now).

    The exemption for Greenland by Denmark is somewhat “strange” given the positive reaction of Greenland; maybe a matter of time and process?

    The ministers that met for the Nile conference in Nairobi also agreed to all look into ratification of the UN Watercourses convention, I am told by reliable sources. Promising.