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International Water Law

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International Water Law

Deadline: Closed
The registration is closed.
Web Based
1 Feb 2013 to 4 Mar 2013
Duration of event:
4 Weeks
Programme Area:
Environment, Peace Security and Diplomacy, International Law
Specific Target Audience:
No Fee
Event Focal Point Email:
Event Focal Point Contact Number:
+41 (0)22 917 88 29
Other Event Details:

Water is the most abundant resource on Earth. However, only a small quantity of it, approximately 2.53%, is freshwater that can be used for agriculture, human consumption, and industrial purposes. Population growth, climate change and economic development place increasing demand on Earth’s finite supplies of freshwater resources.

Thus, knowledge of principles and international norms that govern the use, management and protection of freshwater resources is indispensable for sustainable development, equitable use and effective protection of this natural resource and to avoid conflicts arising from water use.

International agreements have to be negotiated and implemented in order to address the problems related to the access, equitable use, shared management and protection of freshwater resources. For accomplishing this task qualified professionals are required in particular in least developed and developing countries.

The goal of this course is to provide professionals involved in negotiating, concluding or implementing treaties on or related to freshwater resources with an advanced knowledge of the principles and norms that govern the use, sharing, management and protection of freshwater resources.

At the end of the course participant will be able to:

  • Describe the key principles of the law on transboundary water resources including rivers, lakes and aquifers.
  • Explain the interaction between universal, regional and specific water agreements.
  • Identify the linkages between the norms and the practice related to international economic law and the management of freshwater.
  • Define the notion of the right to water and sanitation and its relationship with other human rights.
  • Analyse the norms protecting water during armed conflict.

The course will accommodate 35 participants and will be conducted over 4 weeks. The course is composed of four modules that correspond to 40 learning hours; each module is to be completed in one week time.

Module 1: The Evolution of International Regulation on Transboundary Water Resources.
Module 2: The Principles of the Law on Transboundary Water Resources.
Module 3: Water and International Economic Law.
Module 4: Water, Human Rights and Armed Conflict Law.

Depending on each module, there is a slight variation of the amount of study time required. Participants are expected to devote approximately 10 hours per week to review the course content and complete course assessment activities.

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion issued by UNITAR and the University of Geneva.


The course is moderated by a subject matter expert who will guide participants in their learning process and answer their questions. The course design allows participants to actively interact with their peers and the moderator. Guided discussion forums are organized on selected topics to promote experience and knowledge sharing. Participants also have the opportunity to work with practical examples, analyse case studies and conduct short research assignments.

As the course is an asynchronous e-learning course, trainees can access the course material and participate in the forums at any time.

The course will be given through UNITAR’s Virtual Learning Environment. Thus, participants need a minimum hardware and software equipment (nearly all computers fit this) and basic computer skills such as logging into websites, navigating the Internet, using Microsoft Word, uploading/downloading documents, and of course a reliable Internet connection.
-Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, 2003, 2007, NT, ME or XP; MacOS 9 or MacOS X.
-Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, 1 GB of free disk space.
-Software: Adobe Acrobat Reader (download for free at
-Browser: Mozila Firefox (download for free at or Internet Explorer (download for free at Note JavaScript & Cookies must be enabled.
-Modem: 56 K.

The course is aimed at government officers dealing with transboundary water issues, diplomats, negotiators, specialists from various ministries (Foreign Affairs, Environment, etc.) and governmental agencies working in the field of water management, law professors and researchers.

The course on International Water Law will be offered free of charge for 35 selected participants. Applications will be screened on the basis of a selection process. Only selected participants will be notified by email on 21 December 2012.

To apply for the course, candidates must be between 25 and 45 years old and have a background in law, political sciences, economics or international relations, or working experience in freshwater issues. Fluency in written English is also required since the course will be conducted in English.

Applicants have to attach to this form their resume and a motivation letter (please name your files as: ILP_Your family name_Letter or ILP_Your family name_Resume)

Incomplete applications will not taken into consideration.


Only selected participants will be notified by email on 21 December 2012.

Download the information brochure here.

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