UN seminar explores water management in Central Asia

20 April 2009 – A United Nations gathering underway in the Kazakh city, Almaty, has drawn dozens of experts and representatives of Central Asian nations to examine how to boost water management in the region.

Organized by the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the UN Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the three-day seminar will examine existing UN conventions in the area of water and environment, including the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

The event, which began yesterday, will also review best practices in negotiating cooperative transboundary water agreements.

“This practical knowledge will come very handy for experts from Central Asian countries who are involved in a search for a long-term sustainable negotiated solution to the problems with water and associated resource management issues in the region,” Miroslav Jenca, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNRCCA, said in opening marks this morning.

He expressed hope that the gathering will help the region’s nations “reach sustainable and mutually beneficial arrangements in the area of water and energy.”

The UNRCCA, in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, was set up in 2007 to help the countries of the region respond more proactively to cross-border challenges and threats, such as terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime and environmental degradation, before they become costlier and more difficult to control.

According to the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), the centre is tasked with assisting Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan “in building capacities to peacefully prevent conflict, in facilitating dialogue, and in catalyzing international support behind projects and initiatives.”


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