Globally, 153 countries share rivers, lakes, and groundwater resources. The Water Convention, open to entry by all UN member states since 2016, currently includes 51 member states with several countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Paraguay, and Uruguay, in process of accession. The relevance of adhering to the Water Convention lies in promoting cooperation on transboundary surface and groundwater and strengthening their protection and sustainable management. Working under this framework contributes to preventing conflicts over transboundary waters; it helps promote robust water management and protection at a national level; and allows for the implementation of integrated water resources management.
During Panama's accession ceremony to the convention, Ms. Janaina Tewaney, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Panama, affirmed the country's commitment to fostering both a blue and green economy, through the sustainable use of natural resources. She highlighted that environmental protection is one of their priority axes and that their adherence to the Water Convention strengthens their position as a leader in the blue-green economy globally, providing their country and the continent with an additional tool.
The Convention provides a legal framework and an institutional platform to boost the much-needed progress in transboundary water cooperation in the region.