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EU Council Adopts Conclusions on Water Diplomacy

European Union 22 July 2013: The EU Council adopted conclusions on water diplomacy at the Foreign Affairs Council meeting. The conclusions highlight the EU's commitment to reducing tension and conflict over shared water resources, and emphasize the importance of water and sanitation in the post-2015 development agenda.

The conclusions stress water security challenges including: climate change; economic development; population growth; and the balance between water uses such as water and sanitation, agriculture, industry and energy. The conclusions acknowledge the commitment of the EU to address causes of water insecurity including through water and sanitation programmes designed to help achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The conclusions also highlight the outcomes of the EU Water Security Mapping Initiative and the importance of working in regions of the world faces water security challenges such as the Nile Basin, Central Asia, the Mekong Basin and Sahel region.

In addition, the conclusions encourages promotion of international water cooperation agreements such as the legal frameworks established by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (UNECE Water Convention) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Non-Navigational Uses of International Watercourses (UN Watercourses Convention). The conclusions emphasize that EU water diplomacy should focus on systematic promotion of those agreements as the basis for addressing water security issues and for the development of regional and bilateral river basin agreement addressing transboundary watercourses. [EU Council Conclusions]