Cascao Khartoum Ambiguity Nile Political Deadlock


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Cascao Khartoum Ambiguity Nile Political Deadlock

  1. 1. Ambiguity as the solution for the Nile Legal Deadlock? ANA CASCÃO King’s College of London/ London Water Research Group Presentation to: NBDF 2008 Khartoum, Sudan 17-19 November
  2. 2. Legal Milestones in the Nile Basin <ul><li>1959 Bilateral Nile Agreement between Egypt and Sudan </li></ul><ul><li>(1959) </li></ul><ul><li>Nile riparians and the UN Water Convention </li></ul><ul><li>(1997) </li></ul><ul><li>D3 Project/Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) </li></ul><ul><li>(1997-2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Nile Basin Act </li></ul><ul><li>(2002) </li></ul><ul><li>Conclusion of the </li></ul><ul><li>CFA Draft Agreeement </li></ul><ul><li>(June 2007) </li></ul>
  3. 3. 1959 Egypt-Sudan Agreement for the Full Utilization of the Nile Waters <ul><li>Bilateral agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Including specific volumetric water allocations </li></ul><ul><li>Basis for claiming “prior use” and “acquired rights” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Red line” for negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>Contested by upstreamers </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Nile riparians and UN Water Convention UN Water Convention 1997 IN FAVOUR: Kenya Sudan AGAINST: Burundi ABSTENTION: Egypt Ethiopia Rwanda Tanzania None of the Nile riparians have yet sign or ratified the Convention
  5. 5. NBI & Cooperative Framework Agreement <ul><li>Nile Cooperation inspired by UN Convention </li></ul><ul><li>2 Tracks of Cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>NBI + CFA </li></ul><ul><li>Multilateral Negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>(1997-2007) </li></ul><ul><li>External legal advisors </li></ul><ul><li>Influenced by international water law [1997 UN Convention] </li></ul><ul><li>Goals: Legal Framework and establishment of the Nile Basin Commission </li></ul>COOPERATIVE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT (CFA)
  6. 6. Negotiating water law principles... <ul><li>Bill of Principles </li></ul><ul><li>Equitable and reasonable utilisation </li></ul><ul><li>Obligation not to cause significant harm </li></ul><ul><li>Regular exchange of data and information </li></ul><ul><li>Information concerning planned measures </li></ul><ul><li>Notification and consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Protection, preservation and management </li></ul><ul><li>of ecosystems </li></ul><ul><li>Prevention and mitigation of harmful </li></ul><ul><li>conditions and emergency situations </li></ul><ul><li>Arbitration </li></ul> Priority?  Meaning?  Application?  Existing Agreements?
  7. 7. ... Legal Deadlock – what happens to existing agreements? “ Old” Agreements New Agreement Maintenance of existing agreements Maintenance of current allocations Principle: No harm “ Prior Use” & “Acquired Rights” 1959: Valid Agreement Supersession of old agreements Renegotiations of Volumetric Allocations Principle: Equitable Utilisation Do not recognise the 1959 Agreement Call for a new all-inclusive agreement Long-lasting Deadlock  
  8. 8. Entebbe, June 2007: CFA Draft Agreement <ul><li>39 Articles, mainly derived from relevant provisions of international water law, in particular the 1997 UN Water Convention </li></ul><ul><li>Consensus on 38 Articles </li></ul><ul><li>No consensus on Art. 14 </li></ul><ul><li>[on status of existing agreements] </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Article of Discord </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Ambiguity!? </li></ul>Source: NBI website
  9. 9. Article 14 - Deliberated Ambiguity... “ WATER SECURITY” Article 14: “(...) the Nile Basin States therefore agree, in a spirit of cooperation, to work together to ensure that all states achieve and sustain water security and not to significantly affect the water security of any other Nile Basin State .&quot;
  10. 10. Deliberated Ambiguity in Water Negotiations & Agreements 1994 Israeli-Jordan Water Agreement 1993-1995 Israel-Palestine water negotiations 1954 India-Nepal water agreement on the Kosi River 1954 India-Nepal water agreement on the Mahakali River 1996 India-Bangladesh Ganges Treaty 2007 Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement
  11. 11. Pos & Cons of Using Ambiguity in Treaty Design and Negotiations <ul><li>Increase flexibility in stiff negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>Accomodate divergent interests </li></ul><ul><li>Defuse conflictive positions </li></ul><ul><li>Create room for political compromise </li></ul><ul><li>Resolve long-lasting deadlocks </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate conclusion of agreements </li></ul><ul><li>Delay the process ad eternum </li></ul><ul><li>Induce different and divergent interpretations </li></ul><ul><li>Increase legal controversies </li></ul><ul><li>Difficult implementation of the agreement </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage non-compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute to prolongation of conflicts </li></ul>
  12. 12. Keys to unlock the political deadlock Ambiguity, if Constructive Serious Political Commitment at the highest level Signature & Ratification of the Agreement Acceleration of the cooperation process
  13. 13. Sharing benefits BECAUSE OF and BEYOND political commitment Establishment of Nile Basin Commission (NBC) Full Legal Status Positive message to donors and investors Increased investment Projects on-the-ground Intensification of cooperation process Need to accelerate the cooperation process
  14. 14. Ambiguity as the solution for the Nile Legal Deadlock? Legal deadlock Constructive Ambiguity Political Commitment Disambiguation & Compliance “ Binding Cooperation” Ambiguity is an intermediary step towards political commitment!
  15. 15. Thanks for your attention! [email_address]