Water Diplomacy: Making Water Cooperation Work

Tuesday 25 August | 16.00-17.30 | Room: NL Music Hall
Water Diplomacy projects of The Hague Institute

The Hague Institute for Global Justice and IUCN's Asia Regional Office will convene a dialogue sharing learning experiences from innovative projects in the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna, Mekong and Jordan basins. This event will compare perspectives on cooperation over shared water resources. The aim is to develop a shared understanding and action-oriented agenda.

In this session, The Hague Institute and IUCN will
Share lessons learnt about: 

  • Benefit sharing of transboundary cooperation in the Brahmaputra-Ganges-Megna Basin, Jordan River Basin, and the Mekong River Basin
  • State-of-the-art multi-track water diplomacy in the three case-studies

Identify with the audience through an interactive multi-stakeholder dialogue:

  • Methods for moving from Track 3 to Track 2 and 1
  • The key challenges and solutions to successfully implement multi-track water diplomacy in other transboundary basins
  • An action-oriented agenda to include State-of-the-art multi-track water diplomacy in policy responses of state and non-state actors



16:00    Welcome and introduction by the chair & moderator 

             Dr. Patrick Huntjens, Head of Water Diplomacy,

             The Hague Institute for Global Justice

16:10    Opening speech: ‘Investing into water is investing into peace’ 

             Mr. Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for Water Affairs,

             Kingdom of The Netherlands


16:25    ‘Prospects of cooperation in the Ganges-Brahmaputra region’ 

              Dr. Mark Smith, IUCN Global Water Programme

16:40    ‘Water and peace cooperation in the Jordan Basin’ 

              Dr. Hazim al Nasser (tbc), Jordan Minister of Water and/ or 

              Mrs. Maysoon Zoubi, former Secretary General

              Jordanian Ministry of Water

Crowd sourcing through a roundtable discussions

17:00     'Introduction of key challenges of water diplomacy'

               Dr. Therese Sjömander Magnusson (SIWI, tbc) 
17:05     Parallel roundtable discussions on how to address key challenges
The key objective of the roundtable discussions is to come to an action-oriented agenda
Roundtable 1, moderated by Dr. Patrick Huntjens, Head of Water Diplomacy, The Hague Institute for Global Justice
Roundtable 2, moderated by Dr. Therese Sjömander Magnusson, Director, Transboundary Water Management; ICWC; SWP, Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
Roundtable 3, moderated by Mark Smith, Director, IUCN Global Water Programme
Roundtable 4, moderated by Rens de Man, Researcher Water Diplomacy, The Hague Institute for Global Justice

Roundtable 5, moderated by Yumiko Yasuda, Post-doc Water Diplomacy, The Hague Institute for Global Justice-SIWI


First and foremost, water diplomacy can prevent conflicts through improved water governance and water management process support, thereby producing a conducive environment for transboundary cooperation.
Second, by engaging parties in dialogue, building relationships and trust, water diplomacy can be used as an instrument to allow parties to see and understand each other’s perspectives better.

Finally, water diplomacy can provide solutions for when disagreements over benefit sharing occur, through formal and informal mediation techniques, and through building the capacity of parties to sustain the agreed-upon solution.