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Abstract - Salman M.A. Salman

The Nile Basin, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and International Water Law

The presentation will give an overview of the political geography of the Nile and its eleven riparian countries, and the long history and list of the Nile treaties that are neither inclusive, nor accepted by all the riparians. It will highlight the main principles of international water law as codified in the UN Watercourses Convention, and identify the major areas of differences over such principles between the Nile upstream and downstream riparians, and the resultant lack of cooperation as manifested in the unilateral development plans that have dotted the Basin. This background will provide the setting for the discussion of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD), its main features, and the areas of dispute between Ethiopia on the one hand, and Egypt and Sudan on the other. The presentation will underline the various attempts to resolve the disputes, analyze the agreements concluded thereon, and discuss the reasons for the failure to arrive at a final resolution. It will conclude by stressing the large possible areas for cooperation between the Nile riaprians, and leave the participants with the question about the way forward – conflict or cooperation?