President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Calls for Establishment of Legal Mechanism to Manage Water Resources in Central Asia

It is obvious that saving the Aral Sea cannot be viewed as an internal, regional problem, stressed President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, speaking at the Summit of the Heads of IFAS Founding States in Avaza.

Support of the global community; a new focused, integrated international approach; active and systematic participation of the UN are required for successful resolution of this issue. In this regard, at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012 (Rio+20), Turkmenistan proposed outlining a separate field of the UN's activity, the UN Special Program for the Countries of the Aral Sea Basin, that would include concrete plans on stabilization and improvement of the situation in the Aral Sea basin.

The main objective of the said Program would be to intensify the cooperation between the IFAS and the United Nations to reach the Sustainable Development Goals in the Aral Sea basin. The UN Special Program could also become a platform for drafting the UN multilateral documents on the problems of inland waters in the future. As of today, the Concept of this Special Program has already been drafted, said the head of state, and took the opportunity to call on the Community of Nations, the countries of Central Asia to support the proposal of the Turkmen side and put it into practice.

As a follow-up, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also emphasized Turkmenistan's another initiative. At the 7th World Forum in Daegu (the Republic of Korea), the Turkmen side pointed the need to promote water diplomacy as a new form of multilateral diplomatic communication on water issues. It is in this format that our country sees the potential for a systematic dialog that targets all problems related to preserving water resources and their prudent and rational use.

Currently, this proposal initiated by Turkmenistan is acquiring special importance. Today we need systematic mechanisms of international cooperation that aim to minimize risks. We also need clearly defined rules, a kind of code of conduct that would consider the interests of all countries and take into account the needs of people, their habitual livelihood that has evolved over the centuries. Water is the common heritage of the humankind that belongs to all peoples of the planet.

Turkmenistan supports the United Nations initiative on acknowledging the access to water as a fundamental human right. This approach is based on the universal right to use water resources and the responsibility for their effective management, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

The head of state stressed that establishing a legal mechanism that would take into account the interests of all countries of the region in terms of integrated management of water resources, especially with regard to climate change and reduction of water resources, is one of the most pressing issues in Central Asia.

The Turkmen leader expressed his conviction on the need for the soonest consideration of the matter of the new legal instrument that would contain the main principles of interaction between the countries of the Aral Sea basin in terms of management of water resources, and reiterated Turkmenistan's readiness for close and constructive cooperation with all countries of the region.

Source: Turkmenistan State News Agency-TDH