Vienna, 23 January 2024 - Slovakia Commences Leadership of ICPDR Presidency, Succeeding Serbia for 2024

News & Media
two men standing in front of two signs
Outgoing President Bojan Vranjković (left) hands over the symbolic bottle of Danube water to incoming President Vladimír Novák (right)

(Press Release) VIENNA, 28 February (Permanent Mission of the Republic of Serbia to the OSCE and other International Organizations in Vienna) -
In keeping with its longstanding tradition of collaborative leadership, the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) announces the commencement of Slovakia's presidency, succeeding Serbia for the year 2024.

The incoming President, Vladimír Novák, Director General of the Water Policy Directorate of the Slovak Ministry of Environment, outlined his key priorities for the upcoming term during the handover ceremony.

Key priorities of the Slovak Presidency

  • Enhancing the visibility and impact of the ICPDR Interim Report on the Joint Programme of Measures, ensuring widespread public engagement, and showcasing successful implementation examples.
  • Preparing for the Joint Danube Survey 5 (JDS5), the 5th edition of the world’s most investigative surface-water monitoring efforts.
  • Integrating climate change and drought response strategies across all ICPDR expert group agendas.

Making active contributions to ICPDR events

During the Slovak Presidency, a significant emphasis will be placed on active participation and meaningful contributions to various key ICPDR events, including: 

  • The ICPDR Sustainable Hydropower Workshop in June 2024.
  • A Workshop on preventing and responding to accidental water pollution from Tailing Management Facilities, in collaboration with the UNECE, scheduled for April 2024.
  • The Fish Migration Workshop in May 2024, in partnership with the EUSDR, featuring the presentation of Slovak activities establishing migration routes for sturgeon species in the Danube River.
  • Engaging the public, particularly youth, in celebrating Danube Day.

The symbolic handover ceremony

The handover ceremony was hosted by H.E. Ambassador Žarko Obradović, Permanent Representative of Serbia to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other International Organizations in Vienna. 

A highlight of the event was the traditional exchange of a bottle of Danube water passed from the outgoing Serbian president, Bojan Vranjković, to the incoming Slovak president, Vladimír Novák. The symbolic handover, a long-standing ICPDR tradition, underscores the responsibility of the ICPDR Presidents in safeguarding the future of the Danube basin's waters and represents the continuity and collaborative spirit of the ICPDR. 

In his closing remarks, outgoing 2023 ICPDR President Bojan Vranjković said: “As I hand over the presidency, I want to express my deepest appreciation to each member of the ICPDR community. Your commitment, expertise, and collaborative spirit have been the driving forces behind our accomplishments. To the incoming Slovak Presidency, to you Mr. Novák, I extend my warmest congratulations. I am confident that under your leadership, the ICPDR will continue to thrive and make impactful steps in our shared mission for the Danube River Basin and its people.”

Incoming President Vladimír Novák expressed his honour in assuming the ICPDR Presidency, particularly at a momentous time when the ICPDR will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) in June 2024. The Convention is the foundational document upon which the ICPDR is based. Mr. Novák  highlighted Slovakia's vital role in the Commission's efforts: “Assuming the ICPDR presidency at this critical juncture, as we face climate challenges and impending droughts in our basin, coincides with the 30th anniversary of the DRPC. It's a significant opportunity to drive positive change during this pivotal period.” 


Hélène Masliah-Gilkarov
Public Participation & Communication 
ICPDR Secretariat at UNOV
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373 
Fax: (+43-1) 26060-5895
Mobile: (+43 676) 845 200 220 
E-mail: helene.masliah-gilkarov[at]