Late developers and the inequity of “equitable utilization” and the harm of “do no harm” uri icon

abstract

  • This paper critically examines the Helsinki Rules (1966), the United Nations Convention (1997) and the Berlin Rules (2004), looking at their emphasis on the principle either of equitable utilization or of doing no harm and analysing the effect of these principles on late developers within a river basin. The analysis reveals that these rules increasingly favour first developers. Today, late developers have even less incentive to subscribe to these rules, but instead must either utilize their own dominance or have a powerful ally to develop their water resources. Given the Millennium Development Goals, the existing recommendations on the sharing of international rivers should be revised so as not to favour the early developers
  • This paper critically examines the Helsinki Rules (1966), the United Nations Convention (1997) and the Berlin Rules (2004), looking at their emphasis on the principle either of equitable utilization or of doing no harm and analysing the effect of these principles on late developers within a river basin. The analysis reveals that these rules increasingly favour first developers. Today, late developers have even less incentive to subscribe to these rules, but instead must either utilize their own dominance or have a powerful ally to develop their water resources. Given the Millennium Development Goals, the existing recommendations on the sharing of international rivers should be revised so as not to favour the early developers.

publication date

  • 2010
  • 2010
  • 2010