UN supports Central Asian countries' efforts to compromise on water problem
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 17 / Trend , G.Hasanov/
The UN supports Central Asian countries' efforts to resolve the issues of reasonable usage of water resources and the protection of the environment through compromise, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy, Head of the UN Central Asian Center for Preventive Diplomacy, Miroslav Yench, said in his interview with the Turkmen media in Ashgabat.
The regional countries' cooperation in the management of water resources had been on the agenda on the eve of a coordinating meeting in Ashgabat, which was the Summit of the Founders of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFSA). Attending the forum were water economy ministers of Central Asian countries and senior representatives of international organizations, as well as the IFAS. Moreover, the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe, Jan Kubis, participated in the event as well.
The Ashgabat meeting aims to advance coordinating the efforts of the IFAS, the countries of the region and the international community, including donors, to develop an action program to assist the countries of the Aral Sea Basin in 2011-2015 (AASB-3) and to contribute to drawing-up a mutually acceptable international mechanism for resolving the water problem.
The participants also examined a concept aimed at improving regional cooperation in the water-energy and agricultural sectors, the discussion of which will continue in October 2009 at a special seminar organized by the UN Ashgabat Centre, together with the UN Food and Agriculture Program.
"The Aral Sea crisis is not a localized problem - it is a problem which has gone beyond the region's boundaries. The consequences of this tragedy have negatively affected not only the lives and health of the regional population and the socio-economic level of their lives, but also people living in other countries, which indicates the negative impact that the Aral Sea drying is having on the environment. The issue is indeed very important, and requires an urgent solution,"- Yench told the Turkmen State News Agency.
He said that the Regional Center of the UN fully supports the position of the Central Asian countries' leaders, which was reflected in a joint statement by the founder-countries of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, adopted at the end of a meeting of the Presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in Almaty in April 2009. The paper notes that the parties are aware of the importance of the water resources in the region for the benefit of all states in accordance with universally recognized norms and principles of international law.
The UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Ashgabat aims to create a positive political climate, favorable conditions for promoting dialogue, as well as to find compromises between nations and prevent possible conflicts.
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