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ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR EUROPE

MEETING OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION ON THE PROTECTION AND USE OF TRANSBOUNDARY WATERCOURSES AND INTERNATIONAL LAKES

AMENDMENT TO ARTICLES 25 AND 26 OF THE CONVENTION

1. On 28 November 2003, the Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes amended articles 25 and 26 of the Convention by decision III/1, following a proposal by the Government of Switzerland dated 20 August 2003 (see MP.WAT/2003/4).

2. The decision, including the text of the amendment, is annexed below.

DECISION III/1 AMENDMENT TO THE WATER CONVENTION

The Meeting of the Parties,

Expressing the firm belief that cooperation among riparian States on transboundary watercourses and international lakes contributes to peace and security and to sustainable water management, and is to everyone's benefit,

Desiring to promote river basin cooperation throughout the world and to share its experience with other regions in the world,

Wishing therefore to allow States situated outside the UNECE region to become Parties to the Convention, as is already foreseen under other UNECE environmental conventions (i.e. the Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters and the Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context) as well as under the Protocol on Civil Liability and Compensation for Damage Caused by the Transboundary Effects of Indus trial Accidents on Transboundary Waters,

1. Adopts the following amendments to the Convention:

(a) In article 25, after paragraph 2, insert a new paragraph reading

"3. Any other State, not referred to in paragraph 2, that is a Member of the United Nations may accede to the Convention upon approval by the Meeting of the Parties. In its instrument of accession, such a State shall make a declaration stating that approval for its accession to the Convention had been obtained from the Meeting of the Parties and shall specify the date on which approval was received. Any such request for accession by Members of the United Nations shall not be considered for approval by the Meeting of the Parties until this paragraph has entered into force for all the States and organizations that were Parties to the Convention on 28 November 2003".

and renumber the remaining paragraphs accordingly;

(b) In article 26, paragraph 3, after "referred to in article 23" insert "or in paragraph 3 of article 25";

2. Calls upon Parties to the Convention to deposit their instruments of acceptance of the amendment rapidly;

3. Urges any State or organization that ratifies, accepts or approves the Convention to simultaneously ratify, accept or approve the above amendment;

4. Encourages States situated outside the UNECE region, in particular those bordering it, to accede to the Convention and, to that end, to seek the approval of the Meeting of the Parties;

5. Invites interested United Nations Member States to take part in its meetings as observers and to participate in the activities under the Convention's programme of work;

6. Invites the States bordering the UNECE region that have not done so already to enter into technical cooperation and bilateral or multilateral agreements with the riparian UNECE States, in accordance with the provisions of Part II of the Convention, without delay.