Following the ratification of the two (2) UN Water Conventions by the National Assembly of The Gambia, on the 16th March, 2023, the President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow signed the two Instruments of ratification on 13th April, 2023.
The two instruments are the Convention on the Law of the Non-navigational Uses of International Watercourses adopted in New York on 21st May 1997 (1997 Watercourses Convention), and the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses International Lakes done at Helsinki on the 17th March, 1992 (1992 Water Convention).
The two conventions provide an important milestone in international water cooperation on the shared surface or underground, that crosses two or more States and serve as a mechanism to strengthen international cooperation.
They embody a number of principles on: equitable and reasonable utilization; the obligation not to cause significant harm; the general obligation to cooperate; regular exchange of data and information; protection and preservation of the aquatic environment etc.
The steps taken to become a party signal to other countries, international organizations, financial institutions and other actors the willingness of The Gambia to cooperate on the basis of transboundary norms and standards.
The signed Instruments of Ratification would be transmitted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the United Nations Treaty Section through The Gambia Permanent Mission in New York.
Finally, The Gambia would become a party after 90 (ninety) days of deposition of the Instrument of Ratification. Subsequently, an implementation strategy would then be developed with the support of the Water Convention Secretariat and other relevant partners.
Vessel owners and agents operating in Gambian waters are urged to register their vessels and get certified