Convention Watch – Benin Becomes 27th Party to the UN Watercourse Convention

Benin became the 27th Party to the 1997 UN Watercourses Convention when it submitted its instrument of accession to the Secretary-General of the United Nations on 5 July 2012. Benin is the third country to join the Convention this year following Luxembourg ratification on 8 June 2012 and Denmark accession on 30 April 2012. According to recent press reports (here), the UK will soon join their ranks. The Convention will enter into force 90 days after the 35th nation submits its instrument of ratification, accession, acceptance, or approval to the UN Secretary-General.

You can find the updated status of the Convention here. Also, the IWLP has added a “Convention Watch” news box on its homepage here.

You can find a prior post on the status of the Convention here.

One Response to “Convention Watch – Benin Becomes 27th Party to the UN Watercourse Convention”

  1. Dominique Michel Alhéritière says:

    [ Reflections of an International Water Lawyer ]
    By Dominique Michel Alhéritière, Honorary Chairman, International Association of Water Law

    Progress is really slow! In that connection, some of you may be interested in the experience of an international water lawyer who returned to the field after a 25-year absence.

    Although I had kept up with my readings and remained Deputy-Chairman of the International Association for Water Law (AIDA), I was inactive in that field from 1984 until I returned to water law in 2008.
    When I came back to this area of expertise as the new Chairman of AIDA Executive Council, to my great surprise I found myself in the situation of someone who might have left behind a Remington typewriter on his desk in 1984, expecting to find a Mac or a PC upon his return 24 years later, only to find an IBM typewriter – more modern than the Remington but still a typewriter! That is what I felt when I returned to international water law!

    Obviously, this is an exaggeration when speaking about the EU shared waters, but it is an appropriate analogy for 3 of the 4 case studies I illustrate in an article to be published on “Water and Tensions in the Mediterranean Region.”

    The article shows how water has been at the center of political tensions in that sensitive region, either fuelling or softening them, depending on the circumstances. It shows the limits of international water law in its present stage of development. Nevertheless, the overall message is one of hope. Indeed, various factors seem to indicate that the water future in the region is brighter than it used to be. Chief among these factors is 1) the breakthrough in the development of more economic and effective technologies for water use and re-use, for the treatment of sewage, and for desalination; 2) more efficient cultivation and supply techniques; 3) abundant energy in the region; and 4) the existence of huge aquifers.

    The article is a general exposé, illustrated with four case studies that correspond to the various stages of development of international water law. The first case study entitled “The Turkish Water Tower – Anatomy of Anatolia” is devoted to the twin river basins of the Tigris and Euphrates, a classical set-up for the doctrine of absolute territorial sovereignty over water resources. The second case study, “The Egyptian Collector – Nihilism on the Nile,” is on the Nile River where the doctrine of absolute territorial integrity has made history. The third case study, “Water in the Israel-Palestinian Conflict – Who Killed the Dead Sea?” is a long account of the desperately long march towards an acceptance of a limited territorial sovereignty and integrity for the possible emergence of an equitable and sustainable sharing of the resource. The last case study deals with “The Great Saharan Aquifers – A Libyan Alibi” where the new abundance of the resource seems to bestow the states concerned with a strict application of international law. Yet, the need for cooperation is felt.

    The article is based on the latest information and data made available on the occasion of the 6th World Water Forum, the world’s largest gathering on water issues, organized every three years by the World Water Council in Marseille, France. It will appear in August in the “Journal of Water Law” published by Lawtext Publishing Limited. Once published, the article will be available on the publisher’s website: Further enquiries can be submitted to the Editor

    Dominique Michel Alhéritière, LL.D. from Université Laval (Canada) with a thesis on legal aspects of water management. [He has produced many publications and drafted water and environmental legislation (both national and international) for the UN, FAO, WHO and UNEP. He has lectured at various teaching institutions and contributed to several international groups of experts for the advancement (so was it thought!) of the legal science applied to shared natural resources.]