Great Conference Hall of the Agricultural Complex, in the framework of Turkmenistan’s presidency in IFAS during 2017-2019, hosted the International Conference “Role of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in development of cooperation in Central Asia”.
The forum was attended by representatives of OSCE, UNDP, UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia and the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, German Agency for Economic Cooperation, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, EBRD, heads of diplomatic missions. On the Turkmen part, the meeting was participated by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, State Committee for environmental protection and land resources, and universities.
There were emphasized the active role of Turkmenistan in process of environmental partnership development, and the country’s steps, undertaken in this direction. In particular, in his speech at the World Water Forum, the President of Turkmenistan, reiterated the necessity for active promotion of “water diplomacy”, aimed at consideration of issues, connected with the restoration of water resources, their sustainable use.
Such joint activity of states and international organizations can be a step to the preparation of a global document on the water – the UN Water. Turkmenistan always supports the UN initiatives on recognition of the human fundamental right to water. This approach is based on the universal right to utilization of water resources and the liability for their efficient management.
As noted at the conference, water management is a highlight of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov’s policy, which is closely associated with the preservation of ecological well-being and environmental protection.
The foreign participants’ speeches revealed different aspects of IFAS activities, aimed at overcoming the consequences of the Aral Sea crisis.
As Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan Orman Nurbayev noted, IFAS is eagerly sought as a tool of collective attack on ecological and socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea basin.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Tajikistan to Turkmenistan Farooq Sharifzoda underlined that IFAS is the unique organization that promoted the establishment of qualitatively new relations, the conflict-free settlement of complex water management problems. The diplomat expressed confidence that Turkmenistan’s presidency in IFSA would contribute towards the trust.
Head of IFAS Secretariat of the Interstate Commission on sustainable development (ICSD) Batyr Mammedov emphasized that, in light of the world community adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement, there is a need to propose new priorities, which was included in the conception of Turkmenistan’s presidency in IFAS. It was pointed out the regionalization of Sustainable Development Goals.
The main challenge is to reduce the disastrous effect of the Aral Sea crisis, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan Akmaljon Kuchkarov said, having expressed confidence that the Turkmenistan’s presidency in IFAS would provide progress in many areas, in particular, restoration of the ecological balance and improvement of the socio-economic situation in the Aral Sea.
Deputy Resident Representative of UN Development Program in Turkmenistan, Vitalie Vremis noted that a package approach is required to reduce the risks and impact of climate change. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) promotes the latest technology and advanced methods of water and agriculture management, and component implementation of biological diversity preservation. In this scope, the budget of UNDP projects in Turkmenistan is about 30 million and next year the intention is to increase it to 45 million. The program collaborates with agencies and non-profit organizations.
According to the forum delegates, the stock factor in the expansion of constructive dialogue between neighboring states in the region is Turkmenistan’s neutral status, which will serve as a reliable basis for future agreements on water management.
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