Last Sunday, the International Joint Commission (IJC) recognized the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Canada-US Boundary Waters Treaty (BWT), which created the Commission with the following statement:
“The Commissioners of the IJC are pleased to mark the anniversary of the Boundary Waters Treaty, which has provided a framework for binational cooperation, consultation and action that is as vital today as it was 100 years ago. As the institution that assists in carrying out the mandate of the treaty, we commend the governments for their continued commitment to the foreword -looking principles of the Treaty and their willingness to use joint processes to manage their shared waters for the common good.”
The Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 created the independent IJC to prevent and resolve boundary waters disputes between Canada and the United States. The IJC makes decisions on applications for projects such as dams in boundary waters and regulates the operations of many of those projects. The IJC also has a permanent reference under the 1972 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement to help the two national governments restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of those waters.
Events involving the IJC recognizing the BWT occurring throughout 2009:
- Niagara Falls will be the backdrop to an historic event on Saturday, June 13, 2009 when IJC meets with the Niagara 10 Leaders to celebrate the centennial of the Boundary Waters Treaty which created the IJC.
- Current and former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Secretaries of State and Foreign Ministers, as well as all former IJC Commissioners will be invited to a ceremony to recognize the Boundary Waters Treaty, and its 100 years of providing successful dispute resolution on issues concerning boundary waters between Canada and the United States. Canada Post will issue a stamp commemorating the BWT that week in Niagara as well.
- The June 13, 2009 Niagara event will be the focus of a year-long, coast-to-coast celebration along the border in all basins where the IJC has active transboundary water responsibilities. For more information about the Niagara activities please see oursharedwaters.com