Surya Nath Upadhyay, International Watercourses Law and a Perspective on Nepal-India Cooperation (Kathmandu: Ekta Books, 2012)

(Foreword by Professor Surya Prasad Subedi and Book Introduction by Bipin Adhikari).

It is a great pleasure and an honour for me to write a few words about this fascinating book written by Mr Surya Nath Upadhyay. This book provides a systematic and comprehensive treatment of both the substantive and procedural aspects of the international law of watercourses as well as the law and politics of Indo-Nepal relations regarding the utilization of water resources of Nepal. In doing so, the author offers some useful and interesting recommendations for the development of Indo-Nepal relations on a sound footing for the benefit of the people of both of the countries. This book is an authoritative account of the issues surrounding Indo-Nepal relations concerning water resources.

Mr Upadhyay has been at the forefront of Nepal's endeavors for some three decades to work out Nepal's relationship with India on the basis of equality and mutuality of interests and in accordance with modern norms of international law. He carries a great deal of wealth of both theoretical and practical experience and expertise in this area both as a scholar and a practitioner. He has served as the Under Secretary of the International Law and Treaties Division of the Ministry of Law & Justice, as the Director (Legal) of the Water & Energy Commission of the Ministry Water Resources and finally as the Secretary of this Ministry. It was during his time at the helm of this Ministry that the Mahakali River Treaty between India and Nepal was conceptualized and latter he participated as a senior member of the negotiation team that concluded the treaty. As a scholar with a first rate mind and a senior civil servant, the world was expecting a book of this nature from him and I am pleased that he has delivered it and delivered it very well.

The author provides an impressive and up-to-date analysis of the key areas of international watercourses law and the problems and prospects for meaningful cooperation between India and Nepal in this area. The author has researched extensively to produce a work of high scholarly quality. The content of the book is rich and comprehensive and the analysis presented is highly interesting intellectually. The beauty of the book also lies in the fact that there is a great deal of primary data and information in it which is not easily and readily available elsewhere. Equally impressive is the familiarity of the author with a wide range of literature in the areas covered in the book.

All in all, this book is a very welcome and timely contribution to the ongoing debate on the development of water resources in Nepal. I would like to thank and congratulate the author most warmly on the publication of such an excellent book. It can happily be recommended as a valuable study of its kind and an excellent source of reference to anyone interested in understanding the international law of watercourses and its application. It also enables the reader to gain a proper understanding of the nature of Indo-Nepal relations concerning water resources and in ushering these two countries into a new era of cooperation for the benefit of the people of both of these countries. It can be hoped that the decision and policy makers, diplomats of both Nepal and India and other experts in international law and international relations would benefit a great deal from this book.

Professor Surya P. Subedi, O.B.E.
PhD (Oxford); Barrister (Middle Temple)
Professor of International Law
University of Leeds
London, United Kingdom

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