CENTRAL ASIAN EXPERTS DISCUSSED ENHANCING WATER COOPERATION IN ALMATY
On 18-19 December 2018, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) organized a meeting of experts in Almaty, Kazakhstan, focused on enhancing water cooperation in Central Asia.
Representatives of ministries and state agencies of the Central Asian states and Afghanistan, as well as regional and international experts, gathered to discuss the new UNRCCA Concept to develop regional cooperation on water, energy and environmental issues tailored to local needs and circumstances.
The participants were able to take stock of the UNRCCA water-related activities over the past ten years and have assessed the Centre’s contribution to the regional dialogue on trans-boundary water management in Central Asia. The participating countries positively acknowledged the role of the Centre, and underlined the importance of UNRCCA as a viable platform for regional dialogue. They stressed a good timing for enhancing regional cooperation through dialogue and preventive diplomacy initiatives, with UNRCCA’s support.
The participants also discussed the recent developments in the region, including a growing number of bilateral arrangements between the states of the Central Asia, and promising outcomes of the high-level events, such as, for example, the Summit of International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, and the International Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028.
The importance of mainstreaming gender and youth in trans-boundary water cooperation, as well as using the SDGs/Agenda 2030 in future activities was underscored. Partnerships with respective United Nations agencies and regional partner organisations would be fostered. At the meeting the delegations and international experts discussed at length the UNRCCA publishing and public outreach activities, too.