Agreement On The Organizational Structure for the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission

Filename: 2007-OkavangoRiverWaterCommission.EN.txt

Agreement On The Organizational Structure for the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission

Source: http://www.okacom.org/site-documents/key-documents/2006-the-organization..., downloaded 20150218

Explanation: In April 2007, the three contracting parties signed a new agreement for the organizational structure for the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission, establishing the Secretariat as an internal organ of OKACOM, along with the Commission and the OBSC. http://www.okacom.org/site-documents/key-documents/2006-the-organizational- structure-for-the-permanent-okavango-river-basin-water-commission-okacom

THE ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE FOR THE PERMANENT OKAVANGO RIVER BASIN WATER COMMISSION (OKACOM)

CHAPTER I GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 (Designation and Nature)

1. The Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission, referred hereto by its acronym OKACOM, is an interstate organization, recognized as an independent entity with international legal personality established by the 1994 Windhoek Agreement, entered into by the Governments of the Republic of Angola, the Republic of Botswana and the Republic of Namibia (hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties).

2. OKACOM is the technical advisor to the Contracting Parties, on matters relating to the conservation, development and use of trans-boundary water resources of common interest within the Okavango River Basin (hereinafter referred to as the Basin).

Article 2 (Scope)

OKACOM shall have basin-wide operations exclusively on matters of trans-boundary water resources of common interest within the Basin.

Article 3 (Functions)

Without prejudice to Article 4 of the 1994 Windhoek Agreement, the functions of OKACOM are:

a) to identify and establish standards for the conservation, development and use of the water resources of the Basin;

b) to promote, develop and implement programmes, projects, strategies and action plans for the conservation, environmental management, development and use of water resources of common interest in the Basin;

c) to develop technical, economic, financial and legal background documents required for the preparation of a Master Plan for the integrated conservation, development and use of the basin water resources;

d) to develop agreements on the equitable sharing of the water resources of the Basin;

e) to promote the construction and operation of hydraulic infrastructures of common interest to the Contracting Parties;

f) to promote and develop the required actions to reduce any adverse environmental impact on the Basin;

g) to promote, develop and implement projects of common interest to the Contracting Parties, on matters relating to conservation, development and use of water resources of the Basin;

h) to establish short, medium and long term programmes of common interest to meet the needs of the people of the Basin;

i) to develop awareness and environmental education programmes for the people of the Basin;

j) to ensure the participation of the people of the States of the River Basin in the implementation of projects in the Basin;

k) to safeguard the rights of the people of the Basin to benefit from water resources, and to respect their habits and customs;

l) to safeguard the rational and sustainable use of water resources by the Contracting Parties;

m) to prevent and resolve any conflicts arising from the use of the water resources of the Basin;

n) to establish coordination mechanisms between Contracting Parties, on matters concerning the development and the use of the water resources of the Basin;

o) to collect and disseminate information of common interest on the use and development of the Basin;

p) to consider any claims and complaints arising from the implementation of conservation, use and development of the water resources of common interest of the Basin;

q) to provide recommendations of a general character or of specific application concerning concrete cases or fundamental aspects of conservation, use and development of the water resources of common interest in the Basin;

r) to make an application for any protective measures or institute any form of legal proceedings to protect the water resources of the Basin;

s) to ensure the execution of agreements and conventions concluded on the matter of use of water resources of the Basin;

t) to address any other matter of common interest within the Basin; and

u) to develop any other activities emanating from the Contracting Parties and concerning the water resources of the Basin.

CHAPTER II ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Article 4 (Internal Organs)

1. OKACOM shall comprise of the following internal organizational structure to ensure fulfillment of its functions;

a) the Commission;

b) the Okavango Basin Steering Committee; and

c) the Secretariat.

2. Without prejudice to paragraph 1 of this Article, permanent or temporary subsidiary committees may be established, according to the nature and specificity of the matter.

3. Without prejudice to paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article, each Contracting Party may, according to the policies and laws in each country establish a national commission, or similar body, which shall act in accordance to the national legislation of the respective Contracting Party.

SECTION 1 THE COMMISSION

Article 5 (Nature)

1. The Commission shall be the principal organ of OKACOM responsible for defining and guiding the development policy and the general supervision of the activities of OKACOM.

2. The Commission shall be chaired on a rotational basis.

3. The Commission shall be chaired by a Chairperson, who is the Chairperson of the National Commission of the Contracting Party, in accordance with Article 4 (3) of this document.

Article 6 (Composition)

1. Without prejudice to the provisions of the Windhoek Agreement, the Commission shall be composed of the following:

(a) permanent Members; and

(b) non-permanent Members

2. Permanent Members are officials nominated as Commissioners by the Contracting Parties in accordance with the provisions of the 1994 Windhoek Agreement.

3. Non Permanent Members are any other officials nominated by the Contracting Parties, who are not Commissioners in terms of the 1994 OKACOM Agreement, and are officials of the respective National Commissions under OKACOM.

4. The Contracting Parties shall provide to OKACOM written notification of the names of the members appointed under paragraph 3 of this Article.

Article 7 (Functions)

The functions of the Commission shall be:

a) to define and approve the guidelines to achieve the main objectives of OKACOM;

b) to approve annual and multi-annual work plans, financial plans and budgets thereof;

c) to approve accountability mechanisms and documentation;

d) to manage and approve OKACOM programmes and projects, the terms of reference for the development and implementation of the projects and programmes and the respective Implementation Progress Reports;

e) to submit technical, economic, financial and legal information required for the preparation of the Master Plan for the integrated use of water resources of the Basin, for consideration and approval by the Contracting Parties;

f) to submit, for consideration and approval by the Contracting Parties, the Agreement on Shared Water Resources of the Basin;

g) to define terms and conditions for the prevention and resolution of conflicts related to the use of water resources of common interest in the Basin;

h) to approve the rules of procedures of OKACOM internal bodies;

i) to appoint and dismiss members of the OKACOM internal bodies and project managers;

j) to adopt the terms of reference for experts and consultants to be recruited within the scope of OKACOM and as required for project implementation;

k) to approve experts and consultant contracts within the scope of OKACOM and as required for project implementation;

l) to approve the technical and administrative structure of OKACOM and rules of procedure thereof;

m) to approve staff rules and regulations;

n) to establish ad hoc working groups or specific temporary or permanent committees;

o) to approve work reports from experts and consultants;

p) to propose to the Contracting Parties the acquisition or disposal, on any ground whatsoever, of fixed assets, of income-generating assets or other property of historical or artistic value;

q) to deliberate on the implementation of projects and related matters;

r) to decide on any amendment or revision of agreements or conventions pertaining or applicable to the Basin;

s) to provide overall guidance in the governance of the internal organs of OKACOM; and

t) to decide on any matter submitted by any OKACOM body or any matter that comes to its knowledge.

Article 8

(Roles and Responsibilities)

The Chairperson of the Commission shall:

a) convene and chair the meetings of the Commission and also guide the respective agenda items;

b) prepare the agenda for meetings, invite members of the Commission to the same and ensure the presence of the required number of members;

c) in coordination with the Secretariat, guide the preparation of the meetings of the Commission, ensuring that all the information provided to the members will arrive on time and be thoroughly researched and duly presented;

d) facilitate the circulation of the documentation by the Secretariat to the permanent members of the Commission, at least four (4) weeks before the date of the meeting;

e) coordinate the activities of the Commission in between meetings;

f) facilitate, when necessary or when the Commission so deliberates, the convening of joint meetings with the OBSC;

g) represent the Commission when duly mandated to the effect, unless when another mode of representation is mandated by the Contracting Parties; and

h) appoint a member of the Commission of the respective State as a replacement in case of absence or impediment.

Article 9 (Operations)

1. The Commission shall approve its own rules and procedures.

2. Without prejudice to (1) above the Commission’s ordinary meeting shall be convened once a year and extraordinary meetings shall be convened at any time, at the request of any of the Contracting Parties.

3. The decisions of the Commission shall be reached by consensus.

4. The decisions of the Commission shall only be valid when all Contracting Parties are duly represented.

5. Any Contracting Party may request for an extraordinary meeting to be held.

6. The requesting Contracting Party may host the extraordinary meeting.

7. The holding of an extraordinary meeting of the Commission does not end the tenure of the chairmanship in favour of the Contracting Party hosting the meeting.

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SECTION 2

THE OKAVANGO BASIN STEERING COMMITTEE

Article 10 (Nature)

The Okavango Basin Steering Committee referred to by its acronym OBSC is the technical advisory body to the Commission.

Article 11 (Composition)

1. The OBSC shall consist of permanent and non-permanent members of the Commission.

2. The OBSC shall be chaired by a Commissioner from the Contracting Party holding the chairmanship of the Commission at the time.

3. The Chairperson of the OBSC shall be appointed by the Contracting Party holding the chairmanship the Commission who shall notify other Contracting Parties of such appointment.

Article 12 (Functions)

The functions of the OBSC shall be:

a) to prepare and submit, for approval by the Commission, the technical, economic and financial terms of programmes and projects aiming at the conservation, development and general use of the water resources of the Basin;

b) to prepare and submit background information for the development of an agreement on shared water resources of the Basin for the approval of the Commission;

c) to prepare and submit the technical, economic, financing and legal background information for the preparation of Master Plan for the integrated use of the water resources of the Basin for the approval of the Commission;

d) to prepare and submit the annual and multi-annual work plans of the Commission, and others, and the respective implementation reports for the approval of the Commission;

e) to prepare and submit OKACOM programme and projects implementation reports for the approval of the Commission,;

f) to monitor, oversee and advise on water resources related projects and programmes implemented within the Basin;

g) to implement projects and other activities on the basis of the terms and conditions as approved by the Commission;

h) to develop the terms of reference for experts and consultants, to be recruited for the implementation of the projects and other tasks, within the scope of the Commission;

i) to propose the recruitment of experts and consultants for the implementation of OKACOM projects;

j) to propose OKACOM’s technical-administrative organizational structure and operational rules and regulations thereof;

k) to propose staff rules and regulations;

l) to propose the establishment of ad hoc working groups or committees;

m) to submit experts and consultants work-plans for approval by the Commission;

n) to advise on the amendment and review of agreements related to the Basin;

o) to advise on situations relating to the execution of programmes and projects, taking into account the implementation of the decisions made by the Commission;

p) to provide technical advice to the Commission on emerging issues regarding conservation, development and the use of water resources of common interest to the Contracting Parties;

q) to advise on the acquisition or disposal, under any title, of fixed assets, of income-generating assets or other property of historical or artistic value;

r) to prevent and resolve any conflicts under the terms and conditions established by the Commission;

s) to develop a capacity-building programme for OKACOM; and

t) to advise on any other urgent matters concerning the Basin.

Article 13

(Roles and Responsibilities)

The Chairperson of the OBSC shall:

a) convene and chair the meetings of the OBSC, as well as guide the respective agenda items;

b) prepare the agenda, invite members of the OBSC and ensure the presence of the required number of members;

c) in coordination with the Secretariat, organize OBSC meetings and ensure the timely dissemination of documents and information for use at meetings;

d) facilitate the circulation of the documentation by the Secretariat to members of the OBSC, at least four (4) weeks before the date of the meeting;

e) coordinate the activities of the OBSC ;

f) represent the OBSC;

g) appoint another member of the OBSC of the respective State as a replacement in case of absence or impediment; and

h) develop and conduct other activities as mandated by the OBSC or the Commission.

Article 14 (Operations)

1. The OBSC shall meet once every six (6) months.

2. The OBSC’s extraordinary meetings shall take place when convened upon the Chairperson’s own motion, or when requested by one of the Contracting Parties.

3. All decisions of the OBSC shall be taken on the basis of consensus.

4. The decisions of the OBSC shall be valid only when all Contracting Parties are duly represented.

5. The OBSC shall be governed by its own rules of procedure as approved by the Commission.

6. The rules shall establish:

(a) the number of members of each State Basin in the OBSC;

(b) the Quorum;

(c) the mode of nomination of the Chairperson;

(d) procedures for the preparation of the agenda and the invitations for the meetings, the activity programme and the submission of proposed recommendations to the Commission;

(e) conditions guiding the submission of notification of the nominated members of the OBSC; and;

(f) any other conditions guiding the operations of the OBSC.

SECTION 3 THE SECRETARIAT

Article 15 (Nature)

1. The Secretariat shall be an organ of OKACOM responsible for providing administrative, financial and general secretarial services to OKACOM.

2. The Secretariat shall be headed by an Executive Secretary appointed by the Commission, under the terms and conditions established in the rules of procedure thereof.

3. The Secretariat shall have staff and personnel as may be decided and/or approved by the Commission to enable it to fulfill its functions.

The functions of the Secretariat shall be:

(Functions)

a) to provide administrative and archiving services, under the guidance, coordination and supervision of the Commission;

b) to procure equipment and services for its daily operations on terms approved by the Commission;

c) to facilitate the implementation of projects and the execution of any other activities in the Basin under the guidance, coordination and supervision of the Commission and in close cooperation with the OBSC;

d) to prepare and submit its annual work plan and budget for approval by the Commission;

e) to liaise with stakeholders and share information on OKACOM activities, under the guidance, coordination and supervision of the Commission;

f) to establish and maintain a database to support the information provided by the Commission relating to transboundary issues of the Basin;

g) to manage OKACOM funds in an efficient and transparent way as per financial procedures approved by OKACOM;

h) to establish an archive of all OKACOM’s documentation including, but not limited to, correspondence and minutes of meetings;

i) to ensure the timely circulation of documentation to the permanent members of the Commission and the OBSC, at least four (4) weeks prior to the meetings;

j) to ensure that the official languages of the Contracting Parties have equal status and are equally used;

k) to undertake any other activities under the terms and conditions established by the Commission; and

l) to receive assets and funds on behalf of OKACOM.

2. The Secretariat shall open bank accounts under the direction and approval of the Commission.

Article 17 (Operations)

The Secretariat shall be governed by its own rules of procedure approved by the Commission

(Financing)

1. The budget of the Secretariat shall be funded from contributions made by the Contracting Parties and from such other sources as may be determined by the Commission.

2. The Secretariat shall be accountable and shall report directly to the Commission on all its operations.

CHAPTER III FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 19

(Assets, income and management)

1. OKACOM shall have its own assets and funds under the terms and conditions established by the Contracting Parties.

2. The source of OKACOM ‘s income shall be:

a) contributions from the Contracting Parties;

b) income raised from duties on the use of common water resources;

c) income raised from its own assets, their disposal or returns from financial investments; and

d) subsidies, donations or contributions from any entities of the Contracting Parties or foreign States.

Article 20 (Responsibilities of the Contracting Parties)

1. Each Contracting Party shall be responsible for their own costs related to participation in all meetings under the aegis of OKACOM.

2. The costs referred to under Paragraph 1 of this Article are:

a) travel;

b) accommodation;

c) visa;

d) daily subsistence allowance; and

e) medical insurance where required.

3. Each Contracting Party shall be responsible for any other unforeseeable expenses that are not the responsibility of the host Contracting Party.

4. The host Contracting Party shall be responsible for the security of the delegations or members from the Contracting Parties while performing their functions under OKACOM.

5. Whereby meetings or activities are under the aegis of OKACOM The host Contracting Party shall be responsible for the following:

a) facilitating entry procedures for delegations or members from other Contracting Parties into the respective territory, to perform their duties under OKACOM.

b) with the assistance from the Secretariat, for all costs incurred in connection with the preparation of meetings or activities, in making an adequate venue available to the meeting, and all costs incurred in meeting any conditions required by the meeting, unless otherwise decided by the Commission;

c) preparing, in coordination with the Secretariat, the draft agenda and the required documentation.

Article 21 (Projects)

1. The Commission shall approve rules and procedures for the management and coordination of all projects under OKACOM.

2. All projects under OKACOM shall be managed in accordance with the rules and procedures established by the Commission.

Article 22

(Working Languages, Documentation and Communication)

1. The working languages of OKACOM shall be the official languages of the Contracting Parties, namely, English and Portuguese, and shall be used equally and simultaneously.

2. Documentation for discussion and/or deliberation at any meeting of the Commission, the OBSC or any other permanent committees shall be submitted in OKACOM official languages, and shall be available to the participants, with the assistance of the Secretariat, at least four (4) weeks prior to the meeting.

3. If the documents are available to the participants less than four (4) weeks before the meeting, as stated in paragraph 2 of this Article, they shall be presented in both languages by the State requesting the meeting, at least two (2) weeks before the activity or the event.

4. All meetings of the Commission, OBSC and Permanent Committees shall be serviced with simultaneous and consecutive interpretation.

5. Interpretation services shall be provided by the host country, with the assistance of the Secretariat.

6. To ensure that each Country has a complete archive containing all the documentation related to all OKACOM activities, the Secretariat shall ensure that the documentation is sent and kept in all States.

7. The documentation produced by the Commission, OBSC and other permanent committees, in English and Portuguese, shall have the same content and validity, both texts being equally authentic.

8. Upon consultations amongst its permanent members, the Commission may issue a press release, signed by the co-chairpersons, to inform the public on the key outcomes of the meeting.

9. The press release shall be circulated to the media by the National Commissions of all Contracting Parties.

Article 23 (Amendments)

1. Proposals for amendments to this Annex shall be presented to the Commission, upon prior deliberation of the Commission on the proposed amendment made by a Contracting Party to the Chairperson of the Commission.

2. Upon approval of the amendments to the text of this Annex, the document shall be duly consolidated and be given a new number.

3. Numbering of the drafts shall follow an established order, with the year, followed by a stroke and the number of the draft. Example, a document adopted in 2005 shall be numbered 05/01, and after an amendment made in 2006, the number of the draft shall be amended to be 06/02.

4. The above rules shall be applied in case of partial amendments and not to a total revision of this Annex.

5. Revisions to this Annex shall be defined by the Commission including the reasons, criteria, methodology and frequency of the exercise.

DONE at....................................on the............................day of.............................2006 in three original texts, two texts in the English and one text in the Portuguese language, all texts being equally authentic