event 25 janv. 2021 time 09:30 CET

Webinar // Book Launch - River Basin Organizations in Water Diplomacy

The Mekong River Commission, GIZ and UNESCO IHE have organised a virtual book launch for 'River Basin Organizations in Water Diplomacy' by Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun & Dr. Susanne Schmeier. The editors will present and discuss the book's major insights and recommendations to policy makers on transboundary water management and water conflict and cooperation, followed by a panel dicussion.


25 January 2021, 9.30 CET


Will tensions and disputes among states sharing international water courses and lakes turn into active conflicts? Addressing this question, the new book River Basin Organizations in Water Diplomacy edited by Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun (Mekong River Commission) and Dr. Susanne Schmeier (GIZ/UNESCO IHE) shows that these concerns are more prominent due to the locations and underlying political dynamics of some of these large rivers and the strategic interests of major powers. In a virtual book launch, the authors will present and discuss the major insights and recommendations to policy makers.

Written by a combination of leading practitioners and academics, this book shows that states are more prone to cooperate and manage their transboundary issues over the use of their common water resources through peaceful means, and the key institutions they employ are international river basin organizations (RBOs). Far from being mere technical institutions, RBOs are key mechanisms of water diplomacy with capacity and effectiveness varying on four key interrelated factors: their legal and institutional development, and the influence of their technical and strategic resources. The basins analyzed span all continents, from both developed and developing basins, including the Columbia, Great Lakes, Colorado, Senegal, Niger, Nile, Congo, Jordan, Helmand, Aral Sea, Mekong, Danube and Rhine.

Contributing to the academic discourse on transboundary water management and water conflict and cooperation, the book provides insights to policy-makers on which water diplomacy engagements can be successful, the strengths to build on and the pitfalls to avoid so that shared water resources are managed in a cooperative, sustainable and stable way.


  • Opening by Dr. An Pich Hatda (CEO Mekong River Commission)
  • Setting the Scene by Dr. Aaron T. Wolf
  • Do River Basin Organisations make a difference in water diplomacy and conflict management – key findings by Dr. Anoulak Kittikhoun and Dr. Susanne Schmeier
  • Panel Discussion: Ivan Zavadsky (Executive Secretary, International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River), Dr. Malte Grossmann, tbc (GIZ Transboundary Water Cooperation in the Nile Basin), Prof. Samer Talozi (Jordan University of Science)
  • Moderation: Daniel Däschle, GIZ


The book launch will be livestreamed on the MRC Facebook or join on MS Teams

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