Aspects of development of the ASBP-4 is under discussion in Ashgabat

The second meeting of Regional working groups for development of the Aral Sea Basin Programme ASBP-4 and Improvement of Institutional and Legal Mechanisms of the IFAS have started its work in the Yildyz Hotel of the capital under the chairing of Turkmenistan in the International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea.

The meeting was organized by the IFAS Executive Committee with the support of Regional Programme Transboundary Management of Water Resources in Central Asia of the German International Cooperation Society (GIZ), project of the European Union Central Asia Nexus Dialogue, which is implemented together with Central Asia Regional Ecological Centre (CAREC), Smart Water Project of the USAID and the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat.

Representatives of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan, the IFAS Executive Committee, the Interstate Coordination Water Management Committee, the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD) as well as GIZ and CAREC take part in the session of the Regional Working Groups.

While being the chairing country in 2017 � 2019, Turkmenistan demonstrates the most serious approach to the fulfilment of this responsible mission carrying it out based on specially developed Concept, which is aimed at improvement and enhancement of efficiency of the Fund's activity and strengthening of constructive partnership of Aral Sea basin countries.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov notes that it is obvious that the currency of the subjects of this problem goes far beyond Central Asia and, therefore, it is necessary to make solid foundation for systematic interstate cooperation with active collaboration with competent international organizations including the UN.

Steadfast measures taken by neutral Turkmenistan in this direction find wide support of the world community. This is brightly indicated by the fact of unanimous adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations Organization and International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea from April 12, 2018 initiated by Turkmen side.

Previously, the UN General Assembly Resolution on provision of the observer status to the IFAS, which has become a stage event that proved planetary character of the Aral crisis and necessity of mobilization of international efforts for their recovery, has been adopted in December 2008. At the same time, it is worth to highlight that the policy of the Head of Turkmenistan and his specific initiatives are directly related with the main objectives and goals of the United Nations for provision of global peace, stability and security, achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

In this context, the proposals on development of the UN Special Programme for Aral Sea and the necessity of promotion of water diplomacy made by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the UN Summit RIO+20 in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in 2012 and at the VII World Water Forum in Tegu (The Republic of Korea) gain special currency in the light of modern realities.

Turkmenistan supports the expansion of productive cooperation for solution of such important issues as improvement of social, economic and ecological situation in Aral Sea region, rational water management, improvement of the environment, adaptation to the climate change, which is very important not only in regional but also in global scale.

Development and implementation of the Action Programme for support the countries of Aral Sea basin is one of the most efficient mechanisms for recovery of the problems in the region related to Aral crisis. Three these programmes, namely ASBP, ASBP-2 and ASBP-3, have been implemented since the foundation of the IFAS.

According to the decisions taken at the session of the Board of International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea from January 30 and August 23, 2018, the IFAS Executive Committee together with the ICWC and ISDC as well as with national experts and international partners were assigned to develop the ASBP-4.

The programme is implemented in following directions: integrated use of water resources; ecology; social and economic; improvement of institutional and legal mechanisms. This work is carried out taking into account the obligations of the countries for the SDGs, the Paris Treaty on Climate Change and relative national programmes.

The agenda of two-day Ashgabat meeting includes the discussion and coordination of project proposals related to the development of the ASBP-4 on each of four direction as well as improvement of organizational structure and legal framework of the IFAS. All of them have been developed based in national consultations held in the countries founders of the Fund.

The importance of the Programme and the above-mentioned subjects was reflected in the Joint Communique adopted by the outcomes of the Summit of the heads of the countries founders of the IFAS on August 24, 2018 in Avaza national tourist zone. This forum was another important step toward further development of efficient partnership, which meets the interests of common wealth.

The participants of current meeting gave high appraisal to constructive political strategy of Turkmen leader, under the leadership of whom our country makes significant input to the expansion of fruitful international cooperation in the context of development of agreed and balanced solutions of the utmost objectives related to Aral Sea problems.

The second meeting of the Regional Working Groups will continue the work on the next day. The agenda includes the discussion of proposals on improvement of institutional structure and contractual and legal framework of the IFAS as well as the joining to the Framework Convention on Environment for Sustainable Development in Central Asia. Further measures of cooperation will be agreed relative decisions will be made by the outcomes of the meeting.

Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper