PCCP's goal is to render services to UNESCO's Member States and to foster cooperation between nations by supporting and maintaining peace-building processes. The programme is guided by UNESCO's mandate: to nurture the idea of peace in human minds.

PCCP's priority target groups are institutions and individuals that manage transboundary water resources. These include:

  • Decision-makers and diplomats who have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfill their citizens' right to water. They also have the power to mobilize public support, and the responsibility to include civil society in their decision-making processes.
  • Leading water professionals who are able to bridge the gap between governments and the public, and can generate discourse on the benefits of cooperation around water resources.
  • Civil society networks that play a crucial role in the decision-making processes. These groups operate at the local level, where conflicts related to water resources tend to be the most intense.
  • Educators at different levels who are at the center of training the next generation of transboundary water managers. The transfer of knowledge and experience, particularly from an interdisciplinary perspective, is essential in order to enhance future management skills.
  • Post-graduate students of water studies who will become the managers, educators and decision-makers of water resources in the future.


The Hague Ministerial Declaration, signed in March 2000, identified seven water-related challenges to achieving water security. These challenges provided the context for the launch of the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP). UNESCO launched the From Potential Conflict to Cooperation Potential (PCCP) programme to address all of these issues, with a special focus on the challenge of sharing water resources, primarily from the point of view of governments.

The programme was conceived with the idea that, although transboundary water resources can be a source of conflict, their joint management can be strengthened and even used as a means for further cooperation. Thus PCCP aims to demonstrate that a situation with undeniable potential for conflict can be transformed into a situation where cooperation potential can emerge. 

PCCP coordinates cooperation processes and disseminates best practices of water conflict resolution and cooperation building. It offers a “one-stop-shop” for activities in transboundary waters, and establishes links with related initiatives within UNESCO and the UN more broadly. The programme aslo cooperates with other non-UN institutions around the world working in this domain.

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