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IISD Reporting Services (IISD RS) is producing daily web coverage and will produce a summary report from this meeting on 3 November 2012.
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Sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention)

28-30 November 2012 | Rome, Italy
Daily web coverage (click on the following links to see our daily web pages)
 
Highlights for Wednesday, 28 November 2012
The sixth session of the Meeting of the Parties (MOP6) to the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) opened on 28 November 2012, in the Chamber of Deputies in Rome, Italy.

Sibylle Vermont, Switzerland, Chair of MOP6, opened the meeting. She highlighted the city of Rome and its renowned Fountain of Four Rivers as an appropriate venue to promote transboundary water cooperation. Rocco Buttiglione, Vice-President, Chamber of Deputies, on behalf of Gianfranco Fini, President, Chamber of Deputies, Italy, said that water resourcesare a humanity common good and therefore an international governance system is needed to manage them. Corrado Clini, Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy, stated his country’s commitment to support the Convention and recognized efficient integrated water resource management (IWRM) as a pillar of sustainable development.

Delivering a message on behalf of Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECE, encouraged countries outside the UNECE region to join the Convention. He stressed the Water Convention and the UN Convention on Watercourses are complementary to each other and called for coherent implementation. Vasilyev then highlighted key achievements of the Convention, namely: strengthened implementation and compliance; the Second Assessment of Transboundary Rivers, Lakes and Groundwaters; adaptation to climate change; national policy dialogues; and projects on the ground.

Participants heard a report by the Secretariat on the status of ratification and on credentials, and then began tackling the substantive agenda issues. A high-level segment addressed the main achievements and remaining challenges for the Convention and views and expectations for a globalized convention, with panel presentations and numerous interventions by participants. During the discussion, Iraq and Tunisia expressed interest in becoming Parties to the Water Convention.

In the afternoon, the general segment discussed the opening of the Convention and started reviewing past activities and discussing future ones.

In the evening, an ad-hoc working group met to review and agree on the draft decision on accession by non-UNECE countries. Two side events took place during the lunch break on: adapting to climate change in transboundary basins-future work guided by lessons learned; and the UN Watercourses Convention and the UNECE Water Convention-value, future perspectives and potential synergies.

In the evening, the Italian government hosted a dinner for MOP6 participants.
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A view of the plenary
High Level Segment on the Twentieth Anniversary of the Convention and its Opening to all United Nations Member States
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From L-R: Corrado Clini, Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy; Rocco Buttiglione, Vice-President, Italian Chamber of Deputies; Francesca Bernardini, UNECE Secretariat; Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECE; Sibylle Vermont, Chair of MOP6, Switzerland
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Rocco Buttiglione, Vice-President, Italian Chamber of Deputies
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Sibylle Vermont, Chair of MOP6, Switzerland
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Corrado Clini, Minister for the Environment, Land and Sea, Italy
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Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECE
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From L-R: Lea Kauppi, Director General, Finnish Environment Insitute (FEI), Finland; Ahmet Muhammedov, Deputy Minister of Water Economy, Turkmenistan; Peter Kovacs, State Secretary for Water, Ministry of Rural Development, Hungary; Uladzimir Tsalka, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Belarus; Arben Demeti, Deputy Minister of Environment, Forests and Administration of Waters, Albania; Marina Seliverstova, Head of the Federal Agency for Water Resources, the Russian Federation
Uladzimir Tsalka, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, Belarus
Marina Seliverstova, the Russian Federation
Arben Demeti, Albania
Johan Kuylenstierna, Executive Director, Stockholm Environment Institute
Lea Kauppi, FEI
Ahmet Muhammedov, Turkmenistan
Peter Kovacs, Hungary
Charles Ngangoue, African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW)
Sujiro Seam, France
Vanya Grigorova, Bulgaria
Anar Bulzhanova, Kazakhstan
Nariman Umarov, Uzbekistan
Chaiporn Siripornpibul, Thailand
Lara Ognibene, UN Environment Programme
Danka Thalmeinerova, Global Water Partnership
Phera Ramoeli, Southern African Development Community (SADC)
Loredana Dall'Ora, Italy, representing the EU Presidency
Roberto Araquistain Cisneros, Minister for Law, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Nicaragua
Enes Alagic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
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From L-R: Ivan Zavadsky, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Secretariat; Ramesh Chandra Sen, Minister of Water, Bangladesh; Mohamad Al-Shaibani, Minister of Water Resources, Iraq; Moncer Rekaya, Director, Water Resources Department, Ministry of Agriculture, Tunisia; Alejandro Iza, Head of the Environmental Law Programme, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Sujiro Seam, Deputy Director of Global Public Goods, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France
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Mohamad Al-Shaibani, Minister of Water Resources, Iraq
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Alejandro Iza, Head of the Environmental Law Programme, IUCN
Ramesh Chandra Sen, Minister of Water, Bangladesh
Moncer Rekaya, Ministry of Agriculture, Tunisia
Ivan Zavadsky, Senior Water Resources Management Specialist, GEF Secretariat
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From L-R: Andrey Vasilyev, Deputy Executive Secretary, UNECE; Sibylle Vermont, Chair of MOP6, Switzerland; Francesca Bernardini, UNECE Secretariat; Iulia Trombitcaia, UNECE; Sonja Koeppel, UNECE Secretariat
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Sonja Koeppel, UNECE Secretariat
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Bo Libert, Regional Adviser, Environment Division, UNECE
Heide Jekel, Germany
Najwan Imseih-Rukab, Palestine
Phani Daskalopoulou-Livada, Greece
Side Events
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The panel during the side-event: The UN Watercourses Convention and the UNECE Water Convention: value, future perspectives and potential synergies. From L-R: Alistair Rieu Clarke, UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization - International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO - IHP) Centre for Water Law, Policy and Science; Phani Daskalopoulou-Livada, Legal Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece; Sujiro Seam, Deputy Director of Global Public Goods, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France; Seppo Rekolainen, Finland; Shirouk Al-Abayachi, Iraq; Attila Tanzi, University of Bologna, Italy
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The panel during the side-event: Adapting to climate change in transboundary basins - future work guided by lessons learned. From L-R: Sergei Zavyalov, Head, Air and Water Impact Management, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental, Belarus; Phan Nguyen, Programme Coordinator, Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative, Mekong River Commission Secretariat; Vasyl Stashuk, Head, State Agency of Water Resources, Ukraine; John Matthews, Alliance for Global Water Adaptation; Chair Hugo Aschwanden, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland; Evgeny Simonov, Coordinator, Rivers without Boundaries International Coalition; Bruce Stewart, Director, Climate and Water Department, World Meteorological Organization; Joost Buntsma, Co-Chair of the Task Force on Water and Climate, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, the Netherlands
Dinner hosted by the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea
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Related Links
UNECE resources
*Meeting website and documents
*Water Convention website
*Water Convention text
*Amendment to Articles 25 and 26 of the Convention
*Implementation of the Convention

IISD RS resources
*IISD RS coverage of the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, 21-23 September 2011, Astana, Kazakhstan
*IISD RS archive of meetings on water, oceans, and wetlands; and backgrounder
*Water-L - A news and announcement list on water policy issues
*Sustainable Water Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Activities Addressing Sustainable Water and Sanitation Policy and Practice
*SIDS Policy and Practice - A Knowledgebase on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States
*Climate Change Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing Global Climate Change Policy
*Sustainable Energy Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of Sustainable Energy Activities
*Sustainable Development Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of International Activities Preparing for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development
*Biodiversity Policy & Practice - A Knowledgebase of UN and Intergovernmental Activities Addressing International Biodiversity Policy
*Linkages Update - Bi-weekly international environment and sustainable development news
*African Regional Coverage
*Latin America and Caribbean Regional Coverage
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