L’Unité de l’eau

MOSCOU – Le Vietnam est devenu, le 19 mai, le 35ème Etat partie à la Convention des Nations Unies sur le droit relatif aux utilisations des cours d’eau internationaux à des fins autres que la navigation. Cette convention entrera donc en vigueur le 17 août 2014, 90 jours plus tard conformément à ses statuts.

50 ans ont été nécessaires à l’élaboration de son texte et à l’atteinte du nombre d’Etats requis, révélant un réel problème du système multilatéraliste contemporain. Certes la gestion et l’allocation des ressources en eau partagées continuent d’opposer les Etats, et l’on peut comprendre que les gouvernements et les professionnels de l’eau aient longtemps préféré doter leurs cours d’eau d’accords de bassins plutôt que d’instruments juridiques internationaux, mais ce délai de 50 ans ne peut s’expliquer que par un manque de leadership politique. Ainsi, même s’il est légitime de se réjouir de cette entrée en vigueur tant attendue, il convient de ne pas se reposer sur nos lauriers.

Près de 60% de l’eau douce coule dans des fleuves transfrontaliers, or seulement 40% d’entre eux bénéficient d’accords de bassins. Dans un monde souffrant de plus en plus de stress hydrique, les eaux partagées sont un enjeu de pouvoir et font l’objet de compétitions entre les pays, voire entre les différents usagers. Ce combat pour l’eau attise les tensions politiques et exacerbe l’impact sur les écosystèmes.

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