عنوان مقاله [English]
Water resources in the international river basin, both surface and groundwater, are of vital importance to the countries located in that basin. The natural flow of water and its crossing national borders may lead to cooperation; however, it can also cause tensions, conflicts and sometimes wars between states. Due to its importance all over of the world, transboundary water resources need more attention from political and diplomatic circles. Therefore, transboundary water management is a central issue in world and foreign policy. The present study investigates water diplomacy role in settlement of the Nile international water dispute.
This article aims at promoting cooperation and resolving disputes in international basins. The main question is what role has water diplomacy played in resolving international disputes in the Nile Basin.
It is hypothesized that water diplomacy has contributed to the peaceful resolution of disputes by increasing cooperation with water institutions and international agreements in the basin.
A descriptive-analytical method is adopted to examine this hypothesis with the conceptual framework of water diplomacy. In addition, SPSS statistical software is used.
Based on the data taken from the website http://gis.nacse.org/tfdd/treaties.php, we dealt with water issues and related issues in order to analyze the events related to the Nile Basin and the treaties and international organizations (RBO). The findings of the study, which are concluded by analyzing the events of the Nile International Basin, show that water diplomacy in the context of smart foreign policy can address bilateral threats such as environmental threats, climate change and water supplies scarcity to develop bilateral and multilateral transboundary cooperation. Another finding of the study is that most of the tensions in the Nile Basin are of the type 10 tension, i.e. intense verbal conflicts such as severe condemnation of actions or policies; condemnation of leaders, their systems or ideologies; postponing meetings of state leaders; refusals to attend meetings or summits, severe propaganda attacks, lack of support; blocking or vetoing policies or proposals that are specified in the United Nations or other international bodies. However, more hostile tensions are also seen in the form of hostile political and economic actions among the countries of the basin.
According to what was stated in these papers, it can be concluded that water diplomacy by using diplomatic tools and appealing to institutions and organizations in the river basin has been able to help reduce conflicts in the Nile Basin, but the success of these institutions in resolving the problems and the chapter on the Nile Basin cannot be overstated. We saw that in 1989 and 1990 the number of tensions increased and it can be concluded that the increase in tensions and their continuation led to a decrease in the number of international institutions and agreements for the settlement of conflicts in 2002, which in result led to the formation of eleven institutions, and this made the conflicts reduce until 2004, but due to the lack of cooperation of some countries, especially Egypt, we saw an increase in the conflicts in this basin in 2005. On the other hand, the cooperative approach of countries has been effective in reducing and avoiding conflicts in the basin. For example, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya have had more participations in institutions than other countries, and therefore they are considering participations in international organizations and treaties. This countries have less tensions and conflicts, but Egypt has had more water tensions than other countries due to the lack of a cooperative approach. In short, the management and governance of transboundary waters poses significant challenges and opportunities for foreign policy makers and diplomatic agents to prevent conflicts and seize opportunities, including the development of regional cooperation. In relation to the decrease in water quality, socio-economic development of communities and increasing demand for fresh water, the necessity of the two issues of conflict prevention and the development of regional cooperation is constantly increasing. Environmental change is likely to exacerbate current socio-political disputes over water and intensify them in the future. This will be especially noticeable in areas that do not have the requisite institutions to develop regional cooperation.