The 9th session of the Meeting of the Parties will be held from 29 September to 1 October 2021 as a hybrid meeting (Geneva and virtual), organized by UNECE in cooperation with Estonia.
The Meeting of the Parties is the supreme body of the Convention, whose main task is to monitor the implementation of the Convention and take measures necessary to achieve its objectives. The Meeting of the Parties is held every three years. Since the entry into force of the Convention, eight sessions of the Meeting of the Parties have taken place.
In October 2018, Kazakhstan hosted the Eighth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention in the city of Nur-Sultan. The meeting adopted the first Strategy for the implementation of the Convention at the global level, as well as an ambitious Programme of Work for 2019-2021, including new challenges for sustainable water resource management.
At this session, Kazakhstan assumed the obligations of its Chairmanship in the Bureau of the Convention, which is the governing body of the Convention that determines the main policy. The Chairmanship in the Bureau requires the host country to fulfill a number of commitments, namely, assistance in promoting the Convention at the global level, support for the execution of the Convention's Implementation Strategy and the implementation of the Programme of Work 2019-2021. In October 2021, during the Ninth Session of the Meeting of the Parties, Kazakhstan will hand over the chairmanship to the Estonian Bureau.
At the Ninth Session, the Meeting of the Parties will consider and take decisions on various aspects of transboundary water cooperation, including such issues as the development of basin agreements, sustainable allocation of water resources, water-food-energy-ecosystem relationship, monitoring, assessment and exchange of data, adaptation to climate change, financing of transboundary cooperation. The session will also review progress in the implementation of the Convention and adopt a Programme of Work for 2022-2024.
The ninth session of the Meeting of the Parties will be organized in plenary sessions, high-level segment, general segment and side events.
The high-level segment will be dedicated to the topic “Water and Peace”. It will provide a platform for dialogue on the role of water in sustainable development, regional integration, cooperation and security in transboundary basins.
High-level officials have been invited to participate in the high-level segment. The segment will be opened by Mr. Ardak Zebeshev, Chairman of the Bureau of the Convention and Chairman of the Investment Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the opening of the segment, statements were made by Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia, Mr. Serikkali Brekeshev, Minister of Ecology, Geology, and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, Ms. Olga Algaerova, Executive Secretary UN Economic Commission for Europe - UN Deputy Secretary General.
Overall, more than 500 people are expected to attend the Ninth session of the Meeting of the Parties. Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation, a limited number of participants will participate in the city of Geneva.