Contribution to the Geneva Water Hub: a springboard in Geneva for the Global Blue Peace movement

The Geneva Water Hub (GWH) is a global centre working towards the prevention and solving of water-related tensions and conflicts, and the promotion of stability through water cooperation. It produces innovative knowledge and provides scientific networking for various actors to be used in decision-making processes. It also offers a space for dialogue and a global observatory for water and peace. The SDC contribution to the GWH aims at spearheading the Blue Peace movement, embodying two recognized competences of Switzerland: water expertise and peace mediation.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Conflict & fragility
Water diplomacy and security
Water sector policy
Conflict prevention
01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023
CHF  7’620’000
Background The expected growing water stress due to economic development, demographic growth, and climate change having its main impact on the water cycle, increases the risk of tensions and instability around the world. The Geneva Water Hub is a major contributor to the Blue Peace movement which aims at reducing or averting conflicts over water and providing opportunities for further cooperation among countries, sectors and communities. It uses water as an entry point to encourage broader dialogue and increase mutual trust.   
Objectives Preventing water-related conflicts and promoting water as an instrument of peace and cooperation.
Target groups

- The international actors concentrated in the “Genève Internationale” will be specifically targeted in order to promote and increase ownership of the Blue Peace messages ;

- Governments and policy makers, receiving targeted analysis that will increase their understanding and technical, financial and managerial capacities to analyse and manage water sustainably in a transboundary context ;

- Centres which are part of the Global Observatory on water and peace, positioning themselves as change-makers in the sector of water and peace, will receive support to develop their regional hubs and positive influence of peace-makers in their respective countries and regions ; 

- Civil society and academia, benefitting from a thorough analysis and assessment on cooperation over water resources in selected basins/ countries and associated social, environmental and economic risks/ benefits.

- Networks of global stakeholders (multilateral institutions, international organizations, like-minded donors and governments), with increased awareness on the Blue Peace Movement, the benefits of cooperation over transboundary water resources and presented with opportunities and solutions for investing in transboundary cooperation ;

- Ultimate beneficiaries: populations living in transboundary river basins where water risks are latent (issues of quantity, quality), benefitting from a sound basis of water cooperation and potential solutions for more sustainable and equitable access to water resources for all (including the poor and marginalized people). People affected by armed conflicts where the rules of international humanitarian laws should prevail.

Medium-term outcomes

1.   The water, peace and security nexus is firmly enshrined in the international development, humanitarian and peace agendas ;

2.   The Global Observatory for Water and Peace is effectively performing in the follow-up of the Recommendations of the Global High-Level Panel on Water & Peace (implementation and review) ;

3.   The topic of water in and during armed conflicts is embedded in a conducive legal framework that is effectively being enforced ;

4.    Academia and practitioners drive compellingly and rigorously the education and scientific agenda on water and peace globally.


Expected results:  

- Influencing the dialogue and advocacy with targeted relevant international actors such as the UN, the World Bank, governments, parliamentarians

- Art performance related to water and peace such as the symphony on water and peace, to nourish the dialogue on water and peace

- Safe space with Industry-Government-Civil Society provided for a significant tension related to one major extractive industry

- Analytical support and creative multi-stakeholders workshops and exchanges in support of the operational development of one major pilot case related to new financial mechanisms (bonds) in the context of a transboundary basin

- Strengthening a monitoring mechanism related to threats on water infrastructures

- Developing tailor-made training and exchanges in strategic regions or with strategic partners

Results from previous phases:  

- Promoting water and peace in the global agenda including the presentation of the recommendations of the Global High Level Panel on Water and Peace (GHLPWP) to the UN Secretary General.

- The creation of a Global Observatory on Water and Peace, the establishment of a university partnership, and the organization of various safe spaces where actors can have private dialogues on water and peace related issues.

- Conducting researches and education programmes in water and peace.

The GWH also functions as the secretariat of the GHLPWP and the secretariat of the Group of Friends on Water and Peace in Geneva.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector
Swiss Academic and Research Institution
  • Foreign private sector North
  • University of Geneva

Coordination with other projects and actors

Actors: UNECE, UNCDF, IUCN, UNESCO, Earth Security Group, Strategic Foresight Group, World Youth Parliament for Water, International Secretariat for Water

Projects: Blue Peace Central Asia, Blue Peace Middle East 

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    7’620’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    3’663’587
Project phases Phase 3 01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023   (Current phase) Phase 2 01.04.2017 - 30.11.2020   (Completed) Phase 1 01.10.2012 - 31.05.2017   (Completed)