The Powers whose states are separated, or crossed by the same navigable river, engage to regulate, by common consent, all that regards its navigation. For this purpose they will name Commissioners, who shall assemble, at latest, within six months after the termination of the Congress, and who shall adopt, as the basis of their proceedings, the principles established by the following Articles.
The navigation of the rivers, along their whole course, referred to in the preceding article, from the point where each of them becomes navigable, to its mouth, shall be entirely free, and shall not, in respect to commerce, be prohibited to any one; it being understood that the regulations established with regard to the police of this navigation, shall be respected; as they will be framed alike for all, and as favourable as possible to the commerce of all nations.
The system that shall be established, both for the collection of the duties and for the maintenance of the police, shall be, as nearly as possible, the same along the whole course of the river; and shall also extend, unless particular circumstances prevent it, to those of its branches and junctions, which, in their navigable course, separate or traverse different states.
The duties on navigation shall be regulated in a uniform and settled manner, and with as little reference as possible to the different quality of the merchandize, in order that a minute examination of the cargo may be rendered unnecessary, except with a view to prevent fraud and evasion. The amount of the duties, which shall in no case exceed those now paid, shall be determined by local circumstances, which scarcely allow of a general rule in this respect. The tariff shall, however, be prepared in such a manner as to encourage commerce by facilitating navigation; for which purpose the duties established upon the Rhine, and now in force on that river, may serve as an approximating rule for its construction.
The tariff once settled, no increase shall take place therein, except by the common consent of the states bordering on the rivers; nor shall the navigation be burdened with any other duties than those fixed in the regulation.
The offices for the collection of duties, the number of which shall be reduced as much as possible, shall be determined upon in the above regulation, and no change shall afterwards be made, but by common consent, unless any of the States bordering on the Rivers should wish to diminish the number of those which exclusively belong to the same.
Each State bordering on the Rivers is to be at the expense of keeping in good repair the towing paths which pass through its territory, and of maintaining the necessary works through the same extent in the channels of the river, in order that no obstacle may be experienced to the navigation.
The intended regulation shall determine the manner in which the States bordering on the Rivers are to participate in these latter works, where the opposite banks belong to different governments.
There shall no where be established store-house, port, or forced harbour duties. Those already existing shall be preserved for such time only as the States bordering on Rivers (without regard to the local interest of the place or the country where they are established) shall find them necessary or useful to navigation and commerce in general.
The custom-houses belonging to the States bordering on Rivers shall not interfere in the duties of navigation. Regulations shall be established to prevent officers of the customs, in the exercise of their functions, throwing obstacles in the way of the navigation; but care shall be taken, by means of a strict police on the bank, to preclude every attempt of the inhabitants to smuggle goods, through the medium of boatmen.
Everything expressed in the preceding Articles shall be settled by a general arrangement, in which there shall also be comprised whatever may need an ulterior determination.
The arrangement once settled, shall not be changed, but by and with the consent of all the States bordering on Rivers, and they shall take care to provide for its execution with due regard to circumstances and locality.
Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa-Rica, Cuba, Denmark, the British Empire (with New Zealand and India), Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, the Netherlands, Persia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State, Sweden, Switzerland, Czecho-Slovakia, Uruguay and Venezuela:
Desirous of carrying further the development as regards the international regime of navigation on international waterways, which began more than a century ago, and which has been solemnly affirmed in numerous treaties,
Considering that General Conventions to which other Powers may accede at a later date constitute the best method of realising the purpose of article 23e of the Covenant of the League of Nations,
Recognising in particular that a fresh confirmation of the principle of Freedom of Navigation in a Statute elaborated by forty-one States belonging to the different portions of the world constitutes a new and significant stage towards the establishment of co-operation among States without in any way prejudicing their rights of sovereignty or authority,
Having accepted the invitation of the League of Nations to take part in a Conference at Barcelona which met on 10 March 1921, and having taken note of the final act of such Conference,
Anxious to bring into force forthwith the provisions of the Statute relating to the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern which has there been adopted,
Wishing to conclude a Convention for this purpose the High Contracting Parties have appointed as their plenipotentiaries,
Who, after communicating their full powers found in good and due forms, have agreed as follows:
The High Contracting Parties declare that they accept the Statute on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern annexed hereto, adopted by the Barcelona Conference on 19 April 1921.
This Statute will be deemed to constitutive an integral part of the present Convention. Consequently, they hereby declare that they accept the obligations and undertakings of the said Statute in conformity with the terms and in accordance with the conditions set out therein.
The present Convention does not in any way affect the rights and obligations arising out of the provisions of the Treaty of Peace signed at Versailles on 28 June 1919, or out of the provisions of the other corresponding Treaties, in so far as they concern the powers which have signed, or which benefit by, such Treaties.
The present Convention, of which the French and English texts are both authentic, shall bear this day's date and shall be open for signature until 1 December 1921.
The present Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be transmitted to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who will notify the receipt of them to the other Members of the League and to States admitted to sign the Convention. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the secretariat.
In order to comply with the provisions of article 18 of the Convention of the League of Nations, the Secretary-General will register the present Convention upon the deposit of the first ratification.
Members of the League of Nations which have not signed the present Convention before 1 December 1921, may accede to it.
The same applies to States not Members of the League to which the Council of the League may decide officially to communicate the present Convention.
Accession will be notified to the Secretary-General of the League, who will inform all Powers concerned of the accession and of the date on which it was notified.
The present Convention will not come into force until it has been ratified by five Powers. The date of its coming into force shall be the ninetieth day after the receipt by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations of the fifth ratification. Thereafter the present convention will take effect in the case of each party ninety days after the receipt of its ratification or of the notification of its accession.
Upon the coming into force of the present Convention, the Secretary-General will address a certified copy of it to the Powers not Members of the League which are bound under the Treaties of Peace to accede to it.
A special record shall be kept by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, showing which of the parties have signed, ratified, acceded to or denounced the present Convention. This record shall be open to the Members of the League at all times; it shall be published as often as possible in accordance with the directions of the council.
Subject to the provisions of article 2 of the present Convention, the latter may be denounced by any party thereto after the expiration of five years from the date when it came into force in respect of that party. Denunciation shall be effected by notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations. Copies of such notification shall be transmitted forthwith by him to all the other parties, informing them of the date on which it was received. The denunciation shall take effect one year after the date on which it was notified to the Secretary-General and shall operate only in respect of the notifying Power. It shall not, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, prejudice engagements entered into before the denunciation relating to a program of works.
A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by one-third of the High Contracting Parties.
In faith whereof......... Done at Barcelona, on April 20th, 1921.
In the application of the Statute, the following are declared to be navigable waterways of international concern:
1. All parts which are naturally navigable to and from the sea of a waterway which in its course, naturally navigable to and from the sea, separates or traverses different States, and also any part of any other waterway naturally navigable to and from the sea, which connects with the sea a waterway naturally navigable which separates or traverses different States.
It is understood that:
a) transhipment from one vessel to another is not excluded by the words navigable to and from the sea;
b) any natural waterway or part of a natural waterway is termed naturally navigable if now used for ordinary commercial navigation, or capable by reason of its natural conditions of being so used; by ordinary commercial navigation is to be understood navigation which, in view of the economic condition of the riparian countries, is commercial and normally practicable;
c) tributaries are to be considered as separate waterways;
d) lateral canals constructed in order to remedy the defects of a waterway included in the above definition are assimilated thereto;
e) the different States separated or traversed by a navigable waterway of international concern, including its tributaries of international concern, are deemed to be riparian States.
2. Waterways, or parts of waterways, whether natural or artificial, expressly declared to be placed under the regime of the General Convention regarding navigable waterways of international concern either in unilateral Acts of the States under whose sovereignty or authority these waterways or parts of waterways are situated, or in agreements made with the consent, in particular, of such States.
For the purpose of Articles 5, 10, 12 and 14 of this Statute, the following shall form a special category of navigable waterways of international concern:
a) navigable waterways for which there are international Commissions upon which non-riparian States are represented;
b) navigable waterways which may hereafter be placed in this category, either in pursuance of unilateral Acts of the States under whose sovereignty or authority they are situated, or in pursuance of agreements made with the consent, in particular, of such States.
Subject to the provisions contained in Articles 5 and 17, each of the Contracting States shall accord free exercise of navigation to the vessels flying the flag of any one of the other Contracting States on those parts of navigable waterways specified above which may be situated under its sovereignty or authority.
In the exercise of navigation referred to above, the nations, property and flags of all Contracting States shall be treated in all respects on a footing of perfect equality. No distinction shall be made between the nationals the property and the flags of the different riparian States, including the riparian State exercising sovereignty or authority over the portion of the navigable waterway in question; similarly, no distinction shall be made between the nationals, the property and the flags of riparian and non-riparian States. It is understood, in consequence, that no exclusive right of navigation shall be accorded on such navigable waterways to companies or to private persons.
No distinctions shall be made in the said exercise, by reason of the point of departure, of destination or of the direction of the traffic.
As an exception to the two preceding Articles, and in the absence of any Convention or obligation to the contrary:
1. A riparian State has the right of reserving for its own flag the transport of passengers and goods loaded at one port situated under its sovereignty or authority and unloaded at another port also situated under its sovereignty or authority. A State which does not reserve the above-mentioned transport to its own flag may, nevertheless, refuse the benefit of equality of treatment with regard to such transport to a co-riparian which does reserve it.
On the navigable waterways referred to in Article 2, the Act of Navigation shall only allow to riparian States the right of reserving the local transport of passengers or of goods which are of national origin or are nationalized. In every case, however, in which greater freedom of navigation may have been already established, in a previous Act of Navigation, this freedom shall not be reduced.
2. When a natural system of navigable waterways of international concern which does not include waterways of the kind referred to in Article 2 separates or traverses two States only, the latter have the right to reserve to their flags by mutual agreement the transport of passengers and goods loaded at one port of this system and unloaded at another port of the same system, unless this transport takes place between two ports which are not situated under the sovereignty or authority of the same State in the course of a voyage, effected without transhipment on the territory of either of the said States, involving a sea-passage over a navigable waterway of international concern which does not belong to the said system.
Each of the Contracting States maintains its existing right, on the navigable waterways or parts of navigable waterways referred to in Article 1 and situated under its sovereignty or authority, to enact the stipulations and to take the measures necessary for policing the territory and for applying the laws and regulations relating to customs, public health, precautions against the diseases of animals and plants, emigration or immigration, and to the import or export of prohibited goods, it being understood that such stipulations and measures must be reasonable, must be applied on a footing of absolute equality between the nationals, property and flags of any one of the Contracting States, including the State which is their author, and must not without good reason impede the freedom of navigation.
No dues of any kind may be levied anywhere on the course or at the mouth of a navigable waterway of international concern, other than dues in the nature of payment for services rendered and intended solely to cover in an equitable manner the expenses of maintaining and improving the navigability of the waterway and its approaches, or to meet expenditure incurred in the interest of navigation. These dues shall be fixed in accordance with such expenses, and the tariff of dues shall be posted in the ports. These dues shall be levied in such a manner as to render unnecessary a detailed examination of the cargo, except in cases of suspected fraud or infringement of regulations, and so as to facilitate international traffic as much as possible, both as regards their rates and the method of their application.
The transit of vessels and of passengers and goods on navigable waterways of international concern shall, so far as customs formalities are concerned, be governed by the conditions laid down in the Statute of Barcelona on Freedom of Transit. Whenever transit takes place without transhipment the following additional provisions shall be applicable:
a) when both banks of a waterway of international concern are within one and the same State, the customs formalities imposed on goods in transit after they have been declared and subjected to a summary inspection shall be limited to placing them under seal or padlock or in the custody of customs officers;
b) when a navigable waterway of international concern forms the frontier between two States, vessels, passengers and goods in transit shall while en route be exempt from´ any customs formality, except in cases in which there are valid reasons of a practical character for carrying out customs formalities at a place on the part of the river which forms the frontier, and this can be done without interfering with navigation facilities.
The transit of vessels and passengers, as well as the transit of goods without transhipment, on navigable waterways of international concern, must not give rise to the levying of any duties whatsoever, whether prohibited by the Statute of Barcelona on Freedom of Transit or authorized by Article 3 of that Statute. It is nevertheless understood that vessels in transit may be made responsible for the board and lodging of any customs officers who are strictly required for supervision.
Subject to the provisions of Articles 5 and 17, the nationals, property and flags of all the Contracting States shall, in all ports situated on a navigable waterway of international concern, enjoy, in all that concerns the use of the port, including port dues and charges, a treatment equal to that accorded to the nationals, property and flag of the riparian State under whose sovereignty or authority the port is situated. It is understood that the property to which the present paragraph relates is property originating in, coming from or destined for, one or other of the Contracting States.
The equipment of ports situated on a navigable waterway of international concern and the facilities afforded in these ports to navigation, must not be withheld from public use to an extent beyond what is reasonable and fully compatible with the free exercise of navigation.
In the application of customs or other analogous duties, local octroi or consumption duties, or incidental charges, levied on the occasion of the importation or exportation of goods through the aforesaid ports, no difference shall be made by reason of the flag of the vessel on which the transport has been or is to be accomplished, whether this flag be the national flag or that of any of the Contracting States.
The State under whose sovereignty or authority a port is situated may withdraw the benefits of the preceding paragraph from any vessel if it is proved that the owner of the vessel discriminates systematically against the nationals of that State, including companies controlled by such nationals.
In the absence of special circumstances justifying an exception on the ground of economic necessities, the customs duties must not be higher than those levied on the other customs frontiers of the State interested, on goods of the same kind, source and destination. All facilities accorded by the Contracting States to the importation or exportation of goods by other land or water routes, or in other ports, shall be equally accorded to importation or exportation under the same conditions over the navigable waterway and through the ports referred to above.
1. Each riparian State is bound, on the one hand, to refrain from all measures likely to prejudice the navigability of the waterway, or to reduce the facilities for navigation, and, on the other hand, to take as rapidly as possible all necessary steps for removing any obstacles and dangers which may occur to navigation.
2. If such navigation necessitates regular upkeep of the waterway, each of the riparian States is bound as towards the others to take such steps and to execute such works on its territory as are necessary for the purpose as quickly as possible, taking account at all times of the conditions of navigation, as well as of the economic state of the regions served by the navigable waterway.
In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, any riparian State will have the right, on valid reason being shown, to demand from the other riparians a reasonable contribution towards the cost of upkeep.
3. In the absence of legitimate grounds for opposition by one of the riparian States, including the State territorially interested, based either on the actual conditions of navigability in its territory, or on other interests such as inter alia, the maintenance of the normal water-conditions, requirements for irrigation, the use of water-power, or the necessity for constructing other and more advantageous ways of communication, a riparian State may not refuse to carry out works necessary for the improvement of the navigability which are asked for by another riparian State, if the latter State offers to pay the cost of the works and a fair share of the additional cost of upkeep. It is understood, however, that such works cannot be undertaken so long as the State of the territory on which they are to be carried out objects on the ground of vital interests.
4. In the absence of any agreement to the contrary, a State which is obliged to carry out works of upkeep is entitled to free itself from the obligation, if, with the consent of all the co-riparian States, one or more of them agree to carry out the works instead of it; as regards works for improvement, a State which is obliged to carry them out shall be freed from the obligation, if it authorizes the State which made the request to carry them out instead of it. The carrying out of works by States other than the State territorially interacted, or the sharing by such States in the cost of works, shall be so arranged as not to prejudice the rights of the State territorially interested as regards the supervision and administrative control over the works, or its sovereignty and authority over the navigable waterway.
5. On the waterways referred to in Article 2, the provisions of the present Article are to be applied subject to the terms of the Treaties, Conventions, or Navigation Acts which determine the powers and responsibilities of the International Commission in respect of works.
Subject to any special provisions in the said Treaties, Conventions, or Navigation Acts, which exist or may be concluded:
a) decisions in regard to works will be made by the Commission;
b) the settlement, under the conditions laid down in Article 22 below, of any dispute which may arise as a result of these decisions, may always be demanded on the grounds that these decisions are ultra vires, or that they infringe international conventions governing navigable waterways. A request for a settlement under the aforesaid conditions based on any other grounds can only be put forward by the State which is territorially interested.
The decisions of this Commission shall be in conformity with the provisions of the present Article.
6. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this Article, a riparian State may, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, close a waterway wholly or in part to navigation, with the consent of all the riparian States or of all the States represented on the International Commission in the case of navigable waterways referred to in Article 2.
As an exceptional case one of the riparian States of a navigable waterway of international concern not referred to in Article 2 may close the waterway to navigation, if the navigation on it is of very small importance, and if the State in question can justify its action on the ground of an economic interest clearly greater than that of navigation. In this case the closing to navigation may only take place after a year's notice and subject to an appeal on the part of any other riparian State under the conditions laid down in Article 22. If necessary, the judgement shall prescribe the conditions under which the closing to navigation may be carried into effect.
7. Should access to the sea be afforded by a navigable waterway of international interest through several branches, all of which are situated in the territory of one and the same State, the provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this Article shall apply only to the principal branches deemed necessary for providing free access to the sea.
If on a waterway of international concern one or more of the riparian States are not Parties to this Statute, the financial obligations undertaken by each of the Contracting States in pursuance of Article 10 shall not exceed those to which they would have been subject if all the riparian States had been Parties.
In the absence of contrary stipulations contained in a special Agreement or Treaty, for example, existing Conventions concerning customs and police measures and sanitary precautions, the administration of navigable waterways of international concern is exercised by each of the riparian States under whose sovereignty or authority the navigable waterway is situated. Each of such riparian States has, inter alia, the power and duty of publishing regulations for the navigation of such waterway and of seeing to their execution. These regulations must be framed and applied in such a way as to facilitate the free exercise of navigation under the conditions laid down in this Statute.
The rules of procedure dealing with such matters as ascertaining, prosecuting and punishing navigation offences must be such as to promote as speedy a settlement as possible
Nevertheless, the Contracting States recognize that it is highly desirable that the riparian States should come to an understanding with regard to the administration of the navigable waterway and, in particular, with regard to the adoption of navigation regulations of as uniform a character throughout the whole course of such navigable waterway as the diversity of local circumstances permits.
Public services of towage or other means of haulage may be established in the form of monopolies for the purpose of facilitating the exercise of navigation, subject to the unanimous agreement of the riparian States or the States represented on the International Commission in the case of navigable waterways referred to in Article 2.
Treaties, conventions or agreements in force relating to navigable waterways, concluded by the Contracting States before the coming into force of this Statute, are not, as a consequence of its coming into force, abrogated so far as concerns the States signatories to those treaties.
Nevertheless, the Contracting States undertake not to apply among themselves any provisions of such treaties, conventions or agreements which may conflict with the rules of the present Statute.
If any of the special agreements or treaties referred to in Article 12 has entrusted or shall hereafter entrust certain functions to an international Commission which includes representatives of States other than the riparian States, it shall be the duty of such Commission, subject to the provisions of Article 10, to have exclusive regard to the interests of navigation, and it shall be deemed to be one of the organizations referred to in Article 24 of the Covenant of the League of Nations. Consequently, it will exchange all useful information directly with the League and its organizations, and will submit an annual report to the League.
The powers and duties of the Commission referred to in the preceding paragraph shall be laid down in the Act of Navigation of each navigable waterway and shall at least include the following:
a) the Commission shall be entitled to draw up such navigation regulations as it thinks necessary itself to draw up, and all other navigation regulations shall be communicated to it;
b) it shall indicate to the riparian States the action advisable for the up-keep of works and the maintenance of navigability;
c) it shall be furnished by each of the riparian States with official information as to all schemes for the improvement of the waterway;
d) it shall be entitled, in cases in which the Act of Navigation does not include a special regulation with regard to the levying of dues, to approve of the levying of such dues and charges in accordance with the provisions of Article 7 of this Statute.
This Statute does not prescribe the rights and duties of belligerents and neutral in time of war. The Statute shall, however, continue in force in time of war so far as such rights and duties permit.
This Statute does not impose upon a Contracting State any obligation conflicting with its rights and duties as a Member of the League of Nations.
In the absence of any agreement to the contrary to which the State territorially interested is or may be a Party, this Statute has no reference to the navigation of vessels of war or of vessels performing police or administrative functions, or, in general, exercising any kind of public authority.
Each of the Contracting States undertakes not to grant, either by agreement or in any other way, to a non-Contracting State treatment with regard to navigation over a navigable waterway of international concern which, as between Contracting States, would be contrary to the provisions of this Statute.
The measures of a general or particular character which a Contracting State is obliged to take in case of an emergency affecting the safety of the State or the vital interests of the country may, in exceptional cases and for a period as short as possible, involve a deviation from the provisions of the above Articles; it being understood that the principle of the freedom of navigation, and especially communication between the riparian States and the sea, must be maintained to the utmost possible extent.
This Statute does not entail in any way the withdrawal of existing greater facilities granted to the free exercise of navigation on any navigable waterway of international concern, under conditions consistent with the principle of equality laid down in this Statute, as regards the nationals, the goods and the flags of all the Contracting States; nor does it entail the prohibition of such grant of greater facilities in the future.
In conformity with Article 23 (e) of the Covenant of the League of Nations, any Contracting State which can establish a good case against the application of any provisions of this Statute in some or all of its territory on the ground of the grave economic situation arising out of the acts of devastation perpetrated on its soil during the war 1914-1918, shall be deemed to be relieved temporarily of the obligations arising from the application of such provision, it being understood that the principle of freedom of navigation must be observed as far as possible.
Without prejudice to the provisions of paragraph 5 of Article 10, any dispute between States as to the interpretation or application of this Statute which is not settled directly between them shall be brought before the Permanent Court of International Justice, unless under a special agreement or a general arbitration provision steps are taken for the settlement of the dispute by arbitration or some other means.
Proceedings are opened in the manner laid down in Article 40 of the Statute of the Permanent Court of International Justice.
In order to settle such disputes, however, in a friendly way as far as possible, the Contracting States undertake before resorting to any judicial proceedings and without prejudice to the powers and right of action of the Council and of the Assembly to submit such disputes for an opinion to any body established by the League of Nations as the advisory and technical organization of the Members of the League in matters of communications and transit. In urgent cases a preliminary opinion may recommend temporary measures intended in particular to restore the facilities for free navigation which existed before the act or occurrence which gave rise to the dispute.
A navigable waterway shall not be considered as of international concern on the sole ground that it traverses or delimits zones or enclaves, the extent and population of which are small as compared with those of the territories which it traverses, and which form detached portions or establishments belonging to a State other than that to which the said river belongs, with this exception, throughout its navigable course.
This Statute shall not be applicable to a navigable waterway of international concern which has only two riparian States, and which separated for a considerable distance, a Contracting State from a non-Contracting State whose Government is not recognized by the former at the time of the signing of this Statute, until an agreement has been concluded between them establishing, for the waterway in question, an administrative and customs regime which affords suitable safeguards to the Contracting State.
It is understood that this Statute must not be interpreted as regulating in any way rights and obligations inter se of territories forming part, or placed under the protection, of the same sovereign State, whether or not these territories are individually Members of the League of Nations.
The States signatories of the Convention on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern, signed at Barcelona on 20 April 1921, whose duly authorised representatives have affixed their signatures to the present Protocol, hereby declare that, in addition to the Freedom of Communications which they have conceded by virtue of the Convention on Navigable Waterways considered as of international concern, they further concede, on condition of reciprocity, without prejudice to their rights of sovereignty, and in time of peace:
a) on all navigable waterways;
b) on all naturally navigable waterways;
which are placed under their sovereignty or authority, and which, not being considered as of international concern, are accessible to ordinary commercial navigation to and from the sea, and also in all the ports situated on these waterways, perfect equality of treatment for the flags of any State signatory of this Protocol as regards the transport of imports and exports without transhipment.
At the time of signing, the signatory States must declare whether they accept the obligation to the full extent indicated under paragraph a) above, or only to the more limited extent defined by paragraph b).
It is understood that States which have accepted paragraph a) are not bound as regards those which have accepted paragraph b), except under the conditions resulting from the latter paragraph.
It is also understood that those States which possess a large number of ports (situated on navigable waterways) which have hitherto remained closed to international commerce, may, at the time of the signing of the present Protocol, exclude from its application one or more of the navigable waterways referred to above.
The signatory States may declare that their acceptance of the present Protocol does not include any or all of the colonies, overseas possessions or protectorates under their sovereignty or authority, and they may subsequently adhere separately on behalf of any colony, overseas possession or protectorate so excluded in their declaration. They may also denounce the Protocol separately in accordance with its provisions, in respect of any colony, overseas possession or protectorate under their sovereignty or authority.
The present Protocol shall be ratified. Each Power shall send its ratification to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall cause notice of such ratification to be given to all the other signatory Powers; these ratifications shall be deposited in the archives of the Secretariat of the League of Nations.
The present Protocol shall remain open for the signature or adherence of the States which have signed the above-mentioned Convention or have given their adherence to it.
It shall come into force after the Secretary-General of the League of Nations has received the ratification of two States; provided, however, that the said Convention has come into force by that time.
It may be denounced at any time after the expiration of a period of two years dating from the time of the reception by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations of the ratification of the denouncing State. The denunciation shall not take effect until one year after it has been received by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations. A denunciation of the Convention on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern shall a considered as including a denunciation of the present Protocol.
Done at Barcelona, the twentieth day of April, nineteen hundred and twenty-one, in single copy, of which the French and English texts shall be authentic.
The undersigned, duly authorised for the purpose, declare that the States which they represent recognise the flag flown by the vessels of any State having no sea-coast which are registered at some one specified place situated in its territory; such place shall serve as the port of registry of such vessels.
Barcelona, 20 April 1921, done in a single copy of which the English and French texts shall be authentic.
Austria, Belgium, The British Empire (with New Zealand), Bulgaria, Chile, Denmark, The Free City of Danzig, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Siam and Uruguay:
Desirous of promoting international agreement for the purpose of facilitating the exploitation and increasing the yield of hydraulic power,
Having accepted the invitation of the League of Nations to take part in the Conference which met at Geneva on 15 November 1923,
Wishing to conclude a General Convention for the above purpose,
The High Contracting Parties have appointed as their plenipotentiaries, who, after communicating their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:
The present Convention in no way affects the right belonging to each State, within the limits of international law, to carry out on its own territory any operations for the development of hydraulic power which it may consider desirable.
Should reasonable development of hydraulic power involve international investigation, the Contracting States concerned shall agree to such investigation, which shall be carried out conjointly at the request of any one of them, with a view to arriving at the solution most favourable to their interests as a whole, and to drawing up, if possible, a scheme of development, with due regard for any works already existing, under construction or projected.
Any Contracting State desirous of modifying a programme of development so drawn up shall, if necessary, apply for a fresh investigation, under the conditions laid down in the preceding paragraph.
No State shall be obliged to carry out a programme of development unless it has formally accepted the obligation to do so.
If a Contracting State desires to carry out operations for the development of hydraulic power, partly on its own territory and partly on the territory of another Contracting State or involving alterations on the territory of another Contracting State, the States concerned shall enter into negotiations with a view to the conclusion of agreements which will allow such operations to be executed.
If a Contracting State desires to carry out operations for the development of hydraulic power which might cause serious prejudice to any other Contracting State, the States concerned shall enter into negotiations with a view to the conclusion of agreements which will allow such operations to be executed.
The technical methods adopted in the agreements referred to in the foregoing articles shall, within the limits of tie national legislation of the various countries, be based exclusively upon considerations which might legitimately be taken into account in analogous cases of development of hydraulic power affecting only one State, without reference to any political frontier.
The agreements contemplated in the foregoing articles may provide, amongst other things, for:
a) general conditions for the establishment, upkeep and operation of the works;
b) equitable contributions by the States concerned towards the expenses, risks, damage of the works, as well as for meeting the cost of upkeep;
c) the settlement of questions of financial co-operation;
d) the methods for exercising technical control and securing public safety;
e) the protection of sites;
f) the regulation of the flow of water;
g) the protection of the interests of third parties;
h) the method of settling disputes regarding the interpretation or application of the agreements.
The establishment and operation of works for the exploitation of hydraulic power shall be subject, in the territory of each State, to the laws and regulations applicable to the establishment and operation of similar works in that State.
So far as international waterways are concerned which, under the terms of the general Convention on the Regime of Navigable Waterways of International Concern, are contemplated as subject to the provisions of that Convention, all rights and obligations which may be derived from agreements concluded in conformity with the present Convention shall be construed subject to all rights and obligations resulting from the general Convention and the special instruments which have been or may be concluded, governing such navigable waterways.
This Convention does not prescribe the rights and duties of belligerents and neutrals in time of war. The Convention shall, however, continue in forge in time of war so far as such rights and duties permit.
This Convention does not entail in any way the withdrawal of facilities which are greater than those provided for in the Statute and which have been granted to international traffic by rail under conditions consistent with its principles. This Convention also entails no prohibition of such grant of greater facilities in the future.
The present Convention does not in any way affect the rights and obligations of the Contracting State arising out of former conventions or treaties on the subject matter of the present Convention, or out of the provisions on the same subject-matter in general treaties, including the Treaties of Versailles, Trianon and other treaties which ended the war of 1914-18.
If a dispute arises between Contracting States as to the application or interpretation of the present Statute, and if such dispute cannot be settled either directly between the Parties or by some other amicable method of procedure, the Parties to the dispute may submit it for an advisory opinion to the body established by the League of Nations as the advisory and technical organization of the Members of the League in matters of communications and transit, unless they have decided or shall decide by mutual agreement to have recourse to some other advisory, arbitral or judicial procedure.
The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall not be applicable to any State which represents that the development of hydraulic power would be seriously detrimental to its national economy or security.
It is understood that this Convention must not be interpreted as regulating in any way rights and obligations inter se of territories forming part of or placed under the protection of the same sovereign State, whether or not these territories are individually Contracting States.
Nothing in the preceding articles is to be construed as affecting in any way the rights or duties of a Contracting State as Member of the League of Nations.
The present Convention, of which the French and English texts are both authentic, shall bear this day's date, and shall be open for signature until October 31, 1924, by any State represented at the Conference of Geneva, by any Member of the League of Nations and by any States to which the Council of the League of Nations shall have communicated a copy of the Convention for this purpose.
The present Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the League of Nations, who shall notify their receipt to every State signatory of or acceding to the Convention.
On and after November 1, 1924, the present Convention may be acceded to by any State represented at the Conference of Geneva, by any Member of the League of Nations, or by any State to which the Council of the League of Nations shall have communicated a copy of the Convention for this purpose.
Accession shall be effected by an instrument communicated to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations to be deposited in the archives of the Secretariat. The Secretary-General shall at once notify such deposit to every State signatory of or acceding to the Convention.
The present Convention will not come into force until it has been ratified in the name of three States. The date of its coming into force shall be the ninetieth day after the receipt by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations of the third ratification. Thereafter, the present Convention will take effect in the case of each Party ninety days after the receipt of its ratification or of the notification of its accession.
In compliance with the provisions of Article 18 of the Convention of the League of Nations, the Secretary-General will register the present Convention upon the day of its coming into force.
A special record shall be kept by the Secretary-General of the League of Nations showing, with due regard to the provisions of Article 21, which of the Parties have signed, ratified, acceded to or denounced the present Convention. This record shall be open to the Members of the League at all times; it shall be published as often as possible, in accordance with the directions of the Council.
Subject to the provisions of Article 11 above, the present Convention may be denounced by any Party thereto after the expiration of five years from the date when it came into force in respect of that Party. Denunciation shall be effected by notification in writing addressed to the Secretary-General of the League of Nations. Copies of such notification shall be transmitted forthwith by him to all the other Parties, informing them of the date on which it was received.
A denunciation shall take effect one year after the date on which the notification thereof was received by the Secretary-General and shall operate only in respect of the notifying State.
Any State signing or adhering to the present Convention may declare, at the moment either of its signature, ratification or accession, that its acceptance of the present Convention does not include any or all of its colonies, overseas possessions, protectorates, or overseas territories, under its sovereignty or authority, and may subsequently accede, in conformity with the provisions of Article 17, on behalf of any such colony, overseas possession, protectorate or territory excluded by such declaration.
Denunciation may also be made separately in respect of any such colony, overseas possession, protectorate or territory, and the provisions of Article 20 shall apply to any such denunciation.
A request for the revision of the present Convention may be made at any time by one-third of the Contracting States.
At the moment of signing the Convention of to-day's date relating to the development of hydraulic power affecting more than one State, the undersigned, duly authorised, have agreed as follows:
The provisions of the Convention do not in any way modify the responsibility or obligations imposed on States, as regards injury done by the construction of works for development of hydraulic power, by the rules of international law.
The present Protocol will have the same force, effect and duration as the Convention of to-day's date, of which it is to be considered as an integral part.
In faith whereof the above-named Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Protocol.
Done at Geneva, the ninth day of December one thousand nine hundred and twenty-three, in a single copy, which will remain deposited in the archives of the Secretariat of the League of Nations; certified copies will be transmitted to all the States represented at the Conference.
Action programmes, scientific and technical co-operation and supporting measures
Sub-regional and regional action programmes
Affected country Parties shall consult and cooperate to prepare, as appropriate, in accordance with relevant regional implementation annexes, sub-regional and/or regional action programmes to harmonize, complement and increase the efficiency of national programmes. The provisions of article 10 shall apply mutatis mutandis to sub-regional and regional programmes. Such co-operation may include agreed joint programmes for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources, scientific and technical co-operation, and strengthening of relevant institutions.
Regional implementation Annex for Africa
Content and preparation of sub-regional action programmes
Sub-regional action programmes shall focus on issues that are better addressed at the sub-regional level. They shall establish, where necessary, mechanisms for the management of shared natural resources. Such mechanisms shall effectively handle transboundary problems associated with desertification and/or drought and shall provide support for the harmonious implementation of national action programmes. Priority areas for sub-regional action programmes shall, as appropriate, focus on:
(a) joint programmes for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources through bilateral and multilateral mechanisms, as appropriate;
(e) scientific and technical co-operation, particularly in the climatological, meteorological and hydrological fields, including networking for data collection and assessment, information sharing and project monitoring, and co-ordination and prioritization of research and development activities;
Regional implementation Annex for Asia
Sub-regional and joint action programmes
3. Sub-regional or joint action programmes may include agreed joint programmes for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources relating to desertification, priorities for co-ordination and other activities in the fields of capacity building, scientific and technical co-operation, particularly drought early warning systems and information sharing, and means of strengthening the relevant sub-regional and other organizations or institutions.
The Parties to the present Convention,
Conscious of the importance of international watercourses and the non-navigational uses thereof in many regions of the world,
Having in mind Article 13, paragraph 1 (a), of the Charter of the United Nations, which provides that the General Assembly shall initiate studies and make recommendations for the purpose of encouraging the progressive development of international law and its codification,
Considering that successful codification and progressive development of rules of international law regarding non-navigational uses of international watercourses would assist in promoting and implementing the purposes and principles set forth in Articles 1 and 2 of the Charter of the United Nations,
Taking into account the problems affecting many international watercourses resulting from, among other things, increasing demands and pollution,
Expressing the conviction that a framework convention will ensure the utilization, development, conservation, management and protection of international watercourses and the promotion of the optimal and sustainable utilization thereof for present and future generations,
Affirming the importance of international co-operation and good neighbourliness in this field,
Aware of the special situation and needs of developing countries,
Recalling the principles and recommendations adopted by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development of 1992 in the Rio Declaration and Agenda 21,
Recalling also the existing bilateral and multilateral agreements regarding the non-navigational uses of international watercourses,
Mindful of the valuable contribution of international organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, to the codification and progressive development of international law in this field,
Appreciative of the work carried out by the International Law Commission on the law of the non-navigational uses of international watercourses,
Bearing in mind United Nations General Assembly resolution 49/52 of 9 December 1994,
Have agreed as follows:
Part I. Introduction
Scope of the present Convention
1. The present Convention applies to uses of international watercourses and of their waters for purposes other than navigation and to measures of protection, preservation and management related to the uses of those watercourses and their waters.
2. The uses of international watercourses for navigation is not within the scope of the present Convention except insofar as other uses affect navigation or are affected by navigation.
Use of terms
For the purposes of the present Convention:
Watercourse means a system of surface waters and groundwaters constituting by virtue of their physical relationship a unitary whole and normally flowing into a common terminus;
International watercourse means a watercourse, parts of which are situated in different States;
Watercourse State means a State Party to the present Convention in whose territory part of an international watercourse is situated, or a Party that is a regional economic integration organization, in the territory of one or more of whose Member States part of an international watercourse is situated;
Regional economic integration organization means an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this Convention and which has been duly authorized in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.
In the absence of an agreement to the contrary, nothing in the present Convention shall affect the rights or obligations of a watercourse State arising from agreements in force for it on the date on which it became a party to the present Convention.
Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, parties to agreements referred to in paragraph 1 may, where necessary, consider harmonizing such agreements with the basic principles of the present Convention.
Watercourse States may enter into one or more agreements, hereinafter referred to as watercourse agreements which apply and adjust the provisions of the present Convention to the characteristics and uses of a particular international watercourse or part thereof.
Where a watercourse agreement is concluded between two or more watercourse States, it shall define the waters to which it applies. Such an agreement may be entered into with respect to an entire international watercourse or any part thereof or a particular project programme or use except insofar as the agreement adversely affects, to a significant extent, the use by one or more other watercourse States of the waters of the watercourse, without their express consent.
Where a watercourse State considers that adjustment and application of the provisions of the present Convention is required because of the characteristics and uses of a particular international watercourse, watercourse States shall consult with a view to negotiating in good faith for the purpose of concluding a watercourse agreement or agreements.
Where some but not all watercourse States to a particular international watercourse are parties to an agreement, nothing in such agreement shall affect the rights or obligations under the present Convention of watercourse States that are not parties to such an agreement.
Parties to watercourse agreements
1. Every watercourse State is entitled to participate in the negotiation of and to become a party to any watercourse agreement that applies to the entire international watercourse, as well as to participate in any relevant consultations.
2. A watercourse State whose use of an international watercourse may be affected to a significant extent by the implementation of a proposed watercourse agreement that applies only to a part of the watercourse or to a particular project, programme or use is entitled to participate in consultations on such an agreement and, where appropriate, in the negotiation thereof in good faith with a view to becoming a party thereto, to the extent that its use is thereby affected.
Part II. General principles
Equitable and reasonable utilization and participation
1. Watercourse States shall in their respective territories utilize an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner. In particular, an international watercourse shall be used and developed by watercourse States with a view to attaining optimal and sustainable utilization thereof and benefits therefrom, taking into account the interests of the watercourse States concerned, consistent with adequate protection of the watercourse.
2. Watercourse States shall participate in the use, development and protection of an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner. Such participation includes both the right to utilize the watercourse and the duty to co-operate in the protection and development thereof, as provided in the present Convention.
Factors relevant to equitable and reasonable utilization
1. Utilization of an international watercourse in an equitable and reasonable manner within the meaning of article 5 requires taking into account all relevant factors and circumstances, including:
(a) geographic, hydrographic, hydrological, climatic, ecological and other factors of a natural character;
(b) the social and economic needs of the watercourse States concerned;
(c) the population dependent on the watercourse in each watercourse State;
(d) the effects of the use or uses of the watercourses in one watercourse State on other watercourse States;
(e) existing and potential uses of the watercourse;
(f) conservation, protection, development and economy of use of the water resources of the watercourse and the costs of measures taken to that effect;
(g) the availability of alternatives, of comparable value, to a particular planned or existing use.
2. In the application of article 5 or paragraph 1 of this article, watercourse States concerned shall, when the need arises, enter into consultations in a spirit of co-operation.
3. The weight to be given to each factor is to be determined by its importance in comparison with that of other relevant factors. In determining what is a reasonable and equitable use, all relevant factors are to be considered together and a conclusion reached on the basis of the whole.
Obligation not to cause significant harm
1. Watercourse States shall, in utilizing an international watercourse in their territories, take all appropriate measures to prevent the causing of significant harm to other watercourse States.
2. Where significant harm nevertheless is caused to another watercourse State, the States whose use causes such harm shall, in the absence of agreement to such use, take all appropriate measures, having due regard for the provisions of articles 5 and 6, in consultation with the affected State, to eliminate or mitigate such harm and, where appropriate, to discuss the question of compensation.
General obligation to co-operate
1. Watercourse States shall cooperate on the basis of sovereign equality, territorial integrity, mutual benefit and good faith in order to attain optimal utilization and adequate protection of an international watercourse.
In determining the manner of such co-operation, watercourse States may consider the establishment of joint mechanisms or commissions, as deemed necessary by them, to facilitate co-operation on relevant measures and procedures in the light of experience gained through co-operation in existing joint mechanisms and commissions in various regions.
Regular exchange of data and information
1. Pursuant to article 8, watercourse States shall on a regular basis exchange readily available data and information on the condition of the watercourse, in particular that of a hydrological, meteorological, hydrogeological and ecological nature and related to the water quality as well as related forecasts.
2. If a watercourse State is requested by another watercourse State to provide data or information that is not readily available, it shall employ its best efforts to comply with the request but may condition its compliance upon payment by the requesting State of the reasonable costs of collecting and, where appropriate, processing such data or information.
3. Watercourse States shall employ their best efforts to collect and, where appropriate, to process data and information in a manner which facilitates its utilization by the other watercourse States to which it is communicated.
Relationship between different kinds of uses
1. In the absence of agreement or custom to the contrary, no use of an international watercourse enjoys inherent priority over other uses.
2. In the event of a conflict between uses of an international watercourse, it shall be resolved with reference to articles 5 to 7, with special regard being given to the requirements of vital human needs.
Part III. Planned measures
Information concerning planned measures
Watercourse States shall exchange information and consult each other and, if necessary, negotiate on the possible effects of planned measures on the condition of an international watercourse.
Notification concerning planned measures with possible adverse effects
Before a watercourse State implements or permits the implementation of planned measures which may have a significant adverse effect upon other watercourse States, it shall provide those States with timely notification thereof. Such notification shall be accompanied by available technical data and information, including the results of any environmental impact assessment, in order to enable the notified States to evaluate the possible effects of the planned measures.
Period for reply to notification
Unless otherwise agreed:
(a) a watercourse State providing a notification under article 12 shall allow the notified States a period of six months within which to study and evaluate the possible effects of the planned measures and to communicate the findings to it;
(b) this period shall, at the request of a notified State for which the evaluation of the planned measures poses special difficulty, be extended for a period of six months.
Obligations of the notifying State during the period for reply
During the period referred to in article 13, the notifying State:
(a) shall cooperate with the notified States by providing them, on request, with any additional data and information that is available and necessary for an accurate evaluation; and
(b) shall not implement or permit the implementation of the planned measures without the consent of the notified States.
Reply to notification
The notified States shall communicate their findings to the notifying State as early as possible within the period applicable pursuant to article 13. If a notified State finds that implementation of the planned measures would be inconsistent with the provisions of articles 5 or 7, it shall attach to its finding a documented explanation setting forth the reasons for the finding.
Absence of reply to notification
1. If, within the period applicable pursuant to article 13, the notifying State receives no communication under article 15, it may, subject to its obligations under articles 5 and 7, proceed with the implementation of the planned measures, in accordance with the notification and any other data and information provided to the notified States.
2. Any claim to compensation by a notified State which has failed to reply within the period applicable pursuant to article 13 may be offset by the costs incurred by the notifying State for action undertaken after the expiration of the time for a reply which would not have been undertaken if the notified State had objected within that period.
Consultations and negotiations concerning planned measures
1. If a communication is made under article 15 that implementation of the planned measures would be inconsistent with the provisions of articles 5 or 7, the notifying State and the State making the communication shall enter into consultations and, if necessary, negotiations with a view to arriving at an equitable resolution of the situation.
2. The consultations and negotiations shall be conducted on the basis that each State must in good faith pay reasonable regard to the rights and legitimate interests of the other State.
3. During the course of the consultations and negotiations, the notifying State shall, if so requested by the notified State at the time it makes the communication, refrain from implementing or permitting the implementation of the planned measures for a period of six months unless otherwise agreed.
Procedures in the absence of notification
1. If a watercourse State has reasonable grounds to believe that another watercourse State is planning measures that may have a significant adverse effect upon it, the former State may request the latter to apply the provisions of article 12. The request shall be accompanied by a documented explanation setting forth its grounds.
2. In the event that the State planning the measures nevertheless finds that it is not under an obligation to provide a notification under article 12, it shall so inform the other State, providing a documented explanation setting forth the reasons for such finding. If this finding does not satisfy the other State, the two States shall, at the request of that other State, promptly enter into consultations and negotiations in the manner indicated in paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 17.
3. During the course of the consultations and negotiations, the State planning the measures shall, if so requested by the other State at the time it requests the initiation of consultations and negotiations, refrain from implementing or permitting the implementation of those measures for a period of six months unless otherwise agreed.
Urgent implementation of planned measures
1. In the event that the implementation of planned measures is of the utmost urgency in order to protect public health, public safety or other equally important interests, the State planning the measures may, subject to articles 5 and 7, immediately proceed to implementation, notwithstanding the provisions of article 14 and paragraph 3 of article 17.
2. In such case, a formal declaration of the urgency of the measures shall be communicated without delay to the other watercourse States referred to in article 12 together with the relevant data and information.
3. The State planning the measures shall, at the request of any of the States referred to in paragraph 2, promptly enter into consultations and negotiations with it in the manner indicated in paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 17.
Part IV. Protection, preservation and management
Protection and preservation of ecosystems
Watercourse States shall, individually and, where appropriate, jointly, protect and preserve the ecosystems of international watercourses.
Prevention, reduction and control of pollution
1. For the purpose of this article, pollution of an international watercourse means any detrimental alteration in the composition or quality of the waters of an international watercourse which results directly or indirectly from human conduct.
2. Watercourse States shall, individually and, where appropriate, jointly, prevent, reduce and control the pollution of an international watercourse that may cause significant harm to other watercourse States or to their environment, including harm to human health or safety, to the use of the waters for any beneficial purpose or to the living resources of the watercourse. Watercourse States shall take steps to harmonize their policies in this connection.
Watercourse States shall, at the request of any of them, consult with a view to arriving at mutually agreeable measures and methods to prevent, reduce and control pollution of an international watercourse, such as:
(a) setting joint water quality objectives and criteria;
(b) establishing techniques and practices to address pollution from point and non-point sources;
(c) establishing lists of substances the introduction of which into the waters of an international watercourse is to be prohibited, limited, investigated or monitored.
Introduction of alien or new species
Watercourse States shall take all measures necessary to prevent the introduction of species, alien or new, into an international watercourse which may have effects detrimental to the ecosystem of the watercourse resulting in significant harm to other watercourse States.
Protection and preservation of the marine environment
Watercourse States shall, individually and, where appropriate, in co-operation with other States, take all measures with respect to an international watercourse that are necessary to protect and preserve the marine environment, including estuaries, taking into account generally accepted international rules and standards.
1. Watercourse States shall, at the request of any of them, enter into consultations concerning the management of an international watercourse, which may include the establishment of a joint management mechanism.
2. For the purposes of this article, management refers, in particular, to:
(a) planning the sustainable development of an international watercourse and providing for the implementation of any plans adopted; and
(b) otherwise promoting the rational and optimal utilization, protection and control of the watercourse.
1. Watercourse States shall cooperate, where appropriate, to respond to needs or opportunities for regulation of the flow of the waters of an international watercourse.
2. Unless otherwise agreed, watercourse States shall participate on an equitable basis in the construction and maintenance or defrayal of the costs of such regulation works as they may have agreed to undertake.
3. For the purposes of this article, regulation means the use of hydraulic works or any other continuing measure to alter, vary or otherwise control the flow of the waters of an international watercourse.
1. Watercourse States shall, within their respective territories, employ their best efforts to maintain and protect installations, facilities and other works related to an international watercourse.
2. Watercourse States shall, at the request of any of them which has reasonable grounds to believe that it may suffer significant adverse effects, enter into consultations with regard to:
(a) the safe operation and maintenance of installations, facilities or other works related to an international watercourse; and
(b) the protection of installations, facilities or other works from wilful or negligent acts or the forces of nature.
Part V. Harmful conditions and emergency situations
Prevention and mitigation of harmful conditions
Watercourse States shall, individually and, where appropriate, jointly, take all appropriate measures to prevent or mitigate conditions related to an international watercourse that may be harmful to other watercourse States, whether resulting from natural causes or human conduct, such as flood or ice conditions, water-borne diseases, siltation, erosion, salt-water intrusion, drought or desertification.
1. For the purposes of this article, emergency means a situation that causes, or poses an imminent threat of causing, serious harm to watercourse States or other States and that results suddenly from natural causes, such as floods, the breaking up of ice, landslides or earthquakes, or from human conduct, such as industrial accidents.
2. A watercourse State shall, without delay and by the most expeditious means available, notify other potentially affected States and competent international organizations of any emergency originating within its territory.
3. A watercourse State within whose territory an emergency originates shall, in co-operation with potentially affected States and, where appropriate, competent international organizations, immediately take all practicable measures necessitated by the circumstances to prevent, mitigate and eliminate harmful effects of the emergency.
4. When necessary, watercourse States shall jointly develop contingency plans for responding to emergencies, in co-operation, where appropriate, with other potentially affected States and competent international organizations.
Part VI. Miscellaneous provisions
International watercourses and installations in time of armed conflict
International watercourses and related installations, facilities and other works shall enjoy the protection accorded by the principles and rules of international law applicable in international and non-international armed conflict and shall not be used in violation of those principles and rules.
In cases where there are serious obstacles to direct contacts between watercourse States, the States concerned shall fulfil their obligations of co-operation provided for in the present Convention, including exchange of data and information, notification, communication, consultations and negotiations, through any indirect procedure accepted by them.
Data and information vital to national defense or security
Nothing in the present Convention obliges a watercourse State to provide data or information vital to its national defense or security. Nevertheless, that State shall cooperate in good faith with the other watercourse States with a view to providing as much information as possible under the circumstances.
Unless the watercourse States concerned have agreed otherwise for the protection of the interests of persons, natural or juridical, who have suffered or are under a serious threat of suffering significant transboundary harm as a result of activities related to an international watercourse, a watercourse State shall not discriminate on the basis of nationality or residence or place where the injury occurred, in granting to such persons, in accordance with its legal system, access to judicial or other procedures, or a right to claim compensation or other relief in respect of significant harm caused by such activities carried on in its territory.
Settlement of disputes
1. In the event of a dispute between two or more Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present Convention, the Parties concerned shall, in the absence of an applicable agreement between them, seek a settlement of the dispute by peaceful means in accordance with the following provisions.
2. If the Parties concerned cannot reach agreement by negotiation requested by one of them, they may jointly seek the good offices of, or request mediation or conciliation by, a third party, or make use, as appropriate, of any joint watercourse institutions that may have been established by them or agree to submit the dispute to arbitration or to the International Court of Justice.
3. Subject to the operation of paragraph 10, if after six months from the time of the request for negotiations referred to in paragraph 2, the Parties concerned have not been able to settle their dispute through negotiation or any other means referred to in paragraph 2, the dispute shall be submitted, at the request of any of the parties to the dispute, to impartial fact-finding in accordance with paragraphs 4 to 9, unless the Parties otherwise agree.
A Fact-finding Commission shall be established, composed of one member nominated by each Party concerned and in addition a member not having the nationality of any of the Parties concerned chosen by the nominated members who shall serve as Chairman.
5. If the members nominated by the Parties are unable to agree on a Chairman within three months of the request for the establishment of the Commission, any Party concerned may request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to appoint the Chairman who shall not have the nationality of any of the parties to the dispute or of any riparian State of the watercourse concerned. If one of the Parties fails to nominate a member within three months of the initial request pursuant to paragraph 3, any other Party concerned may request the Secretary-General of the United Nations to appoint a person who shall not have the nationality of any of the parties to the dispute or of any riparian State of the watercourse concerned. The person so appointed shall constitute a single-member Commission.
6. The Commission shall determine its own procedure.
7. The Parties concerned have the obligation to provide the Commission with such information as it may require and, on request, to permit the Commission to have access to their respective territory and to inspect any facilities, plant, equipment, construction or natural feature relevant for the purpose of its inquiry.
8. The Commission shall adopt its report by a majority vote, unless it is a single-member Commission, and shall submit that report to the Parties concerned setting forth its findings and the reasons therefor and such recommendations as it deems appropriate for an equitable solution of the dispute, which the Parties concerned shall consider in good faith.
9. The expenses of the Commission shall be borne equally by the Parties concerned.
10. When ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to the present Convention, or at any time thereafter, a Party which is not a regional economic integration organization may declare in a written instrument submitted to the Depositary that, in respect of any dispute not resolved in accordance with paragraph 2, it recognizes as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:
(a) submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice; and/or
(b) arbitration by an arbitral tribunal established and operating, unless the parties to the dispute otherwise agreed, in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Annex to the present Convention.
A Party which is a regional economic integration organization may make a declaration with like effect in relation to arbitration in accordance with subparagraph (b).
Part VII. Final clauses
The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States and by regional economic integration organizations from... until... at United Nations Headquarters in New York.
Ratification, acceptance, approval or accession
1. The present Convention is subject to ratification, acceptance, approval or accession by States and by regional economic integration organizations. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. Any regional economic integration organization which becomes a Party to this Convention without any of its member States being a Party shall be bound by all the obligations under the Convention. In the case of such organizations, one or more of whose member States is a Party to this Convention, the organization and its member States shall decide on their respective responsibilities for the performance of their obligations under the Convention. In such cases, the organization and the member States shall not be entitled to exercise rights under the Convention concurrently.
3. In their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the regional economic integration organizations shall declare the extent of their competence with respect to the matters governed by the Convention. These organizations shall also inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any substantial modification in the extent of their competence.
Entry into force
1. The present Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
2. For each State or regional economic integration organization that ratifies, accepts or approves the Convention or accedes thereto after the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Convention shall enter into force on the ninetieth day after the deposit by such State or regional economic integration organization of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.
3. For the purposes of paragraphs 1 and 2, any instrument deposited by a regional economic integration organization shall not be counted as additional those deposited by States.
The original of the present Convention, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned plenipotentiaries, being duly authorized thereto, have signed this Convention.
DONE at New York, this ___________ day of one thousand nine hundred and ninety-seven.
Unless the parties to the dispute otherwise agree, the arbitration pursuant to article 33 of the Convention shall take place in accordance with articles 2 to 14 of the present Annex.
The claimant party shall notify the respondent party that it is referring a dispute to arbitration pursuant to article 33 of the Convention. The notification shall state the subject matter of arbitration and include, in particular, the articles of the Convention, the interpretation or application of which are at issue. If the parties do not agree on the subject matter of the dispute, the arbitral tribunal shall determine the subject matter.
1. In disputes between two parties, the arbitral tribunal shall consist of three members. Each of the parties to the dispute shall appoint an arbitrator and the two arbitrators so appointed shall designate by common agreement the third arbitrator, who shall be the Chairman of the tribunal. The latter shall not be a national of one of the parties to the dispute or of any riparian State of the watercourse concerned, nor have his or her usual place of residence in the territory of one of these parties or such riparian State, nor have dealt with the case in any other capacity.
2. In disputes between more than two parties, parties in the same interest shall appoint one arbitrator jointly by agreement.
3. Any vacancy shall be filled in the manner prescribed for the initial appointment.
1. If the Chairman of the arbitral tribunal has not been designated within two months of the appointment of the second arbitrator, the President of the International Court of Justice shall, at the request of a party, designate the Chairman within a further two-month period.
2. If one of the parties to the dispute does not appoint an arbitrator within two months of receipt of the request, the other party may inform the President of the International Court of Justice, who shall make the designation within a further two-month period.
The arbitral tribunal shall render its decisions in accordance with the provisions of this Convention and international law.
Unless the parties to the dispute otherwise agree, the arbitral tribunal shall determine its own rules of procedure.
The arbitral tribunal may, at the request of one of the Parties, recommend essential interim measures of protection.
1. The parties to the dispute shall facilitate the work of the arbitral tribunal and, in particular, using all means at their disposal, shall:
(a) provide it with all relevant documents, information and facilities; and
(b) enable it, when necessary, to call witnesses or experts and receive their evidence.
2. The parties and the arbitrators are under an obligation to protect the confidentiality of any information they receive in confidence during the proceedings of the arbitral tribunal.
Unless the arbitral tribunal determines otherwise because of the particular circumstances of the case, the costs of the tribunal shall be borne by the parties to the dispute in equal shares. The tribunal shall keep a record of all its costs, and shall furnish a final statement thereof to the parties.
Any Party that has an interest of a legal nature in the subject matter of the dispute which may be affected by the decision in the case, may intervene in the proceedings with the consent of the tribunal.
The tribunal may hear and determine counterclaims arising directly out of the subject matter of the dispute.
Decisions both on procedure and substance of the arbitral tribunal shall be taken by a majority vote of its members.
If one of the parties to the dispute does not appear before the arbitral tribunal or fails to defend its case, the other party may request the tribunal to continue the proceedings and to make its award. Absence of a party or a failure of a party to defend its case shall not constitute a bar to the proceedings. Before rendering its final decision, the arbitral tribunal must satisfy itself that the claim is well founded in fact and law.
1. The tribunal shall render its final decision within five months of the date on which it is fully constituted unless it finds it necessary to extend the time limit for a period which should not exceed five more months.
2. The final decision of the arbitral tribunal shall be confined to the subject matter of the dispute and shall state the reasons on which it is based. It shall contain the names of the members who have participated and the date of the final decision. Any member of the tribunal may attach a separate or dissenting opinion to the final decision.
3. The award shall be binding on the parties to the dispute. It shall be without appeal unless the parties to the dispute have agreed in advance to an appellate procedure.
4. Any controversy which may arise between the parties to the dispute as regards the interpretation or manner of implementation of the final decision may be submitted by either party for decision to the arbitral tribunal which rendered it.
 Text in: HERTSLET, A
collection of treaties and conventions between Great Britain and Foreign
Powers, Vol. 1, p. 3.
 Text in: League of Nations, Treaty Series, Vol. VII, p. 37.
The Convention and Statute were adopted by the First General Conference on Communications and Transit by 29 votes to 1, with 2 abstentions (see League of Nations, Barcelona Conference 1921, Verbatim Records and Texts relating to the Convention on the regime of navigable waterways of international concern, 1921, p. 373). The Convention came into force on 31 October 1922.
 Text in: League of Nations, Treaty Series, Vol. XXXVI, p. 77. The Convention was adopted by the Second Conference on Communication and Transit by 24 votes to 3, with 6 abstentions (see League of Nations, Second General Conference on Communications and Transit, Records and Texts, 1921 (C.30.M.16.1924.VIII), Annex I, p. 76).
 Text in: Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) Web Page, Internet (http://www.unccd.ch). The Convention entered into force on 26 December 1996.
 National Action Programmes.
 Text in: UN Document A/51/869 of 11 April 1997. The Convention was adopted by UN General Assembly Resolution 51/229 of 21 May 1997 and opened to signature on the same day.
 UN Document A/51/L.72.