Water Diplomacy Consortium

Water management and the fair distribution of water is an issue of growing importance on the international agenda. Building on the internationally renowned Dutch expertise in water technology, water governance, conflict resolution, and legal systems, The Hague Institute for Global Justice has joined forces with the Netherlands Institute for International Relations “Clingendael,” Water Governance Centre, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, and the UPEACE Center The Hague to form a Water Diplomacy Consortium (WDC). The consortium aspires both to become a knowledge hub for water diplomacy, governance, and law, and to contribute to conflict prevention and conflict resolution in relation to water management across and within national borders.


What is water diplomacy?

In the context of this initiative, water diplomacy is defined broadly to include all measures that can be undertaken to prevent or peacefully resolve conflicts related to water availability, allocation or use between and within states. Among these measures are early warning of potential conflict, conflict prevention through better water governance and water management, Track-II facilitation, more formal mediation and arbitration, legal procedures, training and capacity building, knowledge development, and good practice documentation.



Collectively, the WDC partners combine capacities in diplomacy and conflict resolution, international (water) law, water systems, water governance, and water management. These cover the spectrum of water diplomacy broadly defined from both an academic and a practical perspective. The WDC thus serves as global hub for water diplomacy in theory and practice, and offers the following services to governments and public entities at all levels, intergovernmental organizations, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders that need assistance in the field of water diplomacy:


  • advisory services to governments and public entities at all levels on improving water governance and management systems
  • training and capacity building on a broad range of water diplomacy issues
  • knowledge exchange and partnerships among water diplomacy stakeholders
  • advice on conflict resolution methods, from facilitation to mediation, conciliation, arbitration, and adjudication
  • direct assistance as an honest broker in conflict resolution
  • advice or direct assistance on post-conflict peace building in and through the water sector
  •  research and publications, including case studies and good practices, on water conflict prevention and resolution issues
  • organization of conferences and other events, including online activities, on water diplomacy for experts or the broader public


Clingendael, Water Governance Centre, UNESCO-IHE, and the University for Peace, in cooperation with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Learn more at http://diplomacy4water.org.


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News and Commentary

Bringing Parties Together: Water Diplomacy as a Tool for Resolving Conflicts
21 Nov 2013  On 14 and 15 November, the Water Security and Peace Conference was held in the Peace Palace in The Hague, as one of this year’s event to mark the centennial anniversary of the Peace Palace and as a contribution to the International Year of Water Cooperation. Over two hundred participants from 60 countries attended the conference.
Water Security and Peace
21 Oct 2013  |  by Patrick Huntjens


The Water Diplomacy Consortium will organize an International Conference on Water Security and Peace in the Peace Palace on 14-15 November. The conference will convene over 100 experts in the fields of diplomacy, international water legislation, transboundary and intrastate water conflicts, and conflict resolution.


In the media


contact person for this project
Head of Water Diplomacy
+31 (0)70 - 30 28 144
+31 (0) 70 - 30 28 158
+31 (0)70 - 30 28 157
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