27-28 July 2009
The 17th annual meeting of the Nile Council of Ministers in charge of water affairs was held from 27 to 28 July 2009 in Alexandria, Egypt, upon the invitation of the Government of Egypt.
Ministers from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as well as Eritrea attended the meeting and held discussions on key strategic issues regarding the future of the Nile Basin Initiative, including the River Nile Cooperative Framework Agreement.
Ministers reaffirmed the determination of their respective Governments to strengthen basin-wide cooperation in the area of water resources management of the River Nile and beyond. They highlighted the critical importance of the Nile Basin Initiative’s Shared Vision to sustain this cooperation by achieving an inclusive agreement, underscoring the reality of the climate change phenomenon that brings countries ever closer to each other irrespective of geographical remoteness.
Reiterating the desire of the member states to move forward in the spirit of cooperation on the basis of ‘one Nile, one Basin and one Vision’, the ministers have decided to allow an additional period of six months to enable member states to move forward in concluding an inclusive treaty. They also expressed the wish for continued cooperation with the Development Partners.
In this regard, the ministers have mandated members of the Technical Advisory Committee and Negotiating Committee to consult with international experts and advise them on procedures for signing the Cooperative Framework Agreement. An Extraordinary Meeting of the Nile Council of Ministers will be convened to receive the report.
Convinced that these efforts towards advancing cooperation among their countries will also contribute to regional and global stability, peace and prosperity, and encouraged by the mutually unswerving commitment to pursue this path as displayed in the meeting, the Nile Basin countries expressed hope that their next meeting will mark the last step of signing of the Cooperative Framework Agreement.
NOTE TO THE EDITOR
The Cooperative Framework Agreement is a proposed international treaty currently being negotiated among the countries which share the River Nile – Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda (with Eritrea as an Observer). It lays down principles of cooperative water resources management and would establish a permanent Nile River Basin Commission.
For more information:
Henriette NDOMBE, Executive Director
The Nile Basin Initiative
Plot 12 Mpigi Road
P.O. Box 192, Entebbe-Uganda
Tel: +256- 414 -321424/321329/321208
Mobile: 256 753321511
The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is a partnership of the Nile Basin Countries - Burundi, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda (Eritrea is an Observer) - to Achieve sustainable socio-economic development through equitable utilization of and the benefits from the common Nile Basin water resources.
Formally launched on 22 February 1999 in Dar e salaam, Tanzania by the Council of Ministers of Water Affairs of the Nile Basin states, the Initiative provides a unique forum for the countries of the Nile Basin to move forward a cooperative process to realize tangible benefits in the Basin and build a solid foundation of trust and confidence.
To strengthen the cooperation in relation to the River Nile, NBI Member States are pursuing the establishment of a permanent River Nile Basin Organization.