In 1963 the United Nations Secretariat collected and published the text of treaties then in force concerning the non-navigational uses of international watercourses1. Subsequently, in 1984, the then United Nations Department of Technical Cooperation for Development published the text of treaties concerning the non-navigational uses of international watercourses concluded among or between African States2. Interest in this specialized field of public international law has grown unabated through the years, as witnessed, in particular, by the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of a Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses at a specially convened session, in April 19973. In addition, FAO has published, in 1993 and 1995 respectively, the text of treaties concerning international rivers and lakes in Europe4 and in Asia5.
(1Legislative Texts and Treaty Provisions concerning the Utilization of International Rivers for other Purposes than Navigation. United Nations publication, Sales No. 63.V.4, New York, 1963.)
(2Treaties Concerning the Utilization of International Water Courses for Other Purposes than Navigation - Africa. United Nations publication, Sales No. E/F.84.II.A.7, New York, 1984.)
(3 U.N. doc. A/51/869 of 11 April 1997.)
(4Treaties concerning the non-navigational uses of international watercourses - Europe. FAO Legislative Study No. 50, Rome 1993.)
(5Treaties concerning the non-navigational uses of international watercourses - Asia. FAO Legislative Study No.55, Rome, 1995.)
The present collection of treaties may be viewed as a contribution to a better knowledge of legally binding steps taken by countries towards the development, use and protection of the water resources of African rivers and lakes common to two or more States. The information contained in this publication, in addition to being useful as specialized reference material, may also be a source of inspiration for policymakers and decisionmakers in general, and governmental legal advisers and negotiators in particular, as they deal with the uniquely complex legal implications of developing, using and protecting water resources shared across international borders.
This collection complements the 1984 United Nations Department of Technical Cooperation for Development publication mentioned earlier. In addition to incorporating, with the agreement of the United Nations Secretariat, the text - in full or in excerpt form but with the exception of any maps - of the treaties which had been included in that publication, it provides the text of several treaties and agreements which have been concluded since 1984. The texts which have been reproduced in this publication have been drawn from a variety of sources, published and un-published. There is no pretense here to exhaustiveness. In fact, the Development Law Service will be grateful for suggestions on how to improve the accuracy and completeness of coverage.
This publication has been prepared by Miss Paola Sartorio, working as research intern with this Service. Her dedication to this project is gratefully acknowledged. Overall supervision and final editing have been the responsibility of Mr. S. Burchi, Senior Legal Officer with this Service.
Chief, Development Law Service