UNRCCA CONVENED CAPACITY-BUILDING WORKSHOP AND MEETING OF CENTRAL ASIAN WATER EXPERTS IN ASHGABAT
On 17-18 December 2019, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) convened in Ashgabat a regional capacity-building workshop dedicated to water cooperation in the Central Asian region.
The event was attended by the representatives of the ministries and state agencies of the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan, international and partner organizations as well as international experts.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia, Natalia Gherman welcomed the participants and praised efforts made by Central Asian states in strengthening regional cooperation in the sphere of transboundary water management. She pointed out that water and environmental issues continued to be key factors in terms of full and sustainable economic and social development in the region of Central Asia and Afghanistan. She noted that joint and rational use of water and energy resources in the Aral Sea basin, as well as ensuring its environmental safety were essential for achieving peace, stability and prosperity. And this should become a motive for bringing together our common efforts to improve the quality of living environments of people in the region on a long-term basis.
During the workshop, participants had an opportunity to learn more about and discuss the new innovative technologies in the rational use of water and energy resources aimed at deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between the states. In particular, they reviewed international experience, displaying concrete examples and cases how various water-saving technologies helped countries to overcome differences and arrive at mutually beneficial solutions. The delegations also exchanged their best practices at the national level and discussed ways of possible cooperation.
Back-to-back with the workshop a meeting of Central Asian experts on water, energy and environment was held. There was meaningful exchange of views among the participants on topical streams of regional cooperation in the given areas, as well as on potential spheres of work for 2020.
The participating countries underlined the importance of UNRCCA as a platform for promoting regional dialogue on transboundary water management, including energy and environmental aspects in line with its mandate and through preventive diplomacy and trust-building.