Central Asian Economies Call for Stronger Regional Cooperation in Water Resources Management
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Countries participating in the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) called for increased cooperation on water resources management during 'SPECA week' in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

United Nations21 November 2013: Countries participating in the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) called for increased cooperation on water resources management during ‘SPECA week’ in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

At the series of meetings from 19-22 November 2013, Andrey Vasilyev, UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), encouraged countries to agree on shared regional priorities for the post-2015 development agenda. Nikolay Pomoshchnikov, UN Economic Commission for Asia-Pacific (UNESCAP), recognized member States’ progress in reducing extreme poverty and achieving many indicators under the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). He noted that boosting regional cooperation will require addressing institutional and physical infrastructure.

A high-level segment took place on 21 November. Delegates identified several areas of potential cooperation, including joint management of the Aral Sea Basin and the two river basins of the Syr Darya and Amu Darya.

Other meetings included discussion of: promotion and financing of innovative green technologies; regional cooperation on energy for sustainable development; and regional cooperation in water management. UNECE, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia (ICSD) presented a draft study on strengthening the institutional and legal basis of regional cooperation on the environment in Central Asia within the framework of ICSD.

UNECE and UNESCAP support SPECA, which covers Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

At the 8th SPECA Governing Council meeting on 22 November, Sun-ichi Murata, UNESCAP, said the opening of a UN sub-regional office for North and Central Asia (ENCA) in Almaty, Kazakhstan, enables greater focus on: transport and trade; water and energy management; sustainable development, including green growth; improved connectivity; and greater intra-regional cooperation among Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs). In a press release, UNESCAP linked this to the UN Secretary-General’s pledge to strengthen the UN development pillars. ENCA covers Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. [UNECE Press Release on SPECA] [UNECE Press Release on ICSD Study] [UNESCAP Press Release on SPECA] [UNESCAP Press Release on ENCA] [SPECA Week Programme]

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