BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 24. Mutually beneficial cooperation will fortify the status of the Caspian Sea as a sea of peace and new opportunities, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said, Trend reports.
Tokayev made the remark at the first summit of heads of state of the UN Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) in Baku.
Kazakhstan's president emphasized the need of launching cooperation scientific, research, and practical work on environmental and climate challenges, as well as transboundary water resource management.
These difficulties touch all SCO countries, and success cannot be accomplished individually, he said, citing the Aral Sea disaster, the consequences of which are felt not just in the area but far beyond its borders.
"Next year, Kazakhstan, as the chair of the International Fund for Saving the Aral, will focus on intensifying efforts to prevent the degradation of the environment of what was once one of the world's largest closed water reservoirs," Tokayev also said. "The complex ecological situation in the Caspian Sea, related to shallowing, a sharp reduction in water flow, a decrease in biore sources, and anthropogenic pollution, raises significant concern."
"Saving the Caspian should be a top priority for long-term international cooperation. I urge all interested parties to collaborate on developing a common action plan to improve the condition of this unique water body," he added.
Baku is hosting a summit dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the UN Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA).
The UN SPECA program was established on March 26, 1998. At present, the SPECA member states are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. SPECA provides a platform for sub-regional cooperation to realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that can best be achieved through regional cooperation.
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