High-level meeting on water management in global interests and development of international cooperation in the field of inland seas based on the Sustainable Development Goals dedicated to Aral Sea issues was held under general debates at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
Representative of the Government of Turkmenistan and the executive Committee for Saving of Aral Sea took part in the meeting initiated by Turkmen side.
Representatives of our country noted in their speeches during high-level meeting that the problem of Aral Sea is one of the biggest in modern history of global ecological catastrophes. The tragedy of Aral Sea, which the countries of Central Asia with the population of more than 60 million people, presents direct threat to stable development of the region, gene pool and prosperous future of people living there by its ecological, social and economic impact. The situation is worsened by global climate changes on the planet.
Realizing current situation, Central Asian states made a decision on establishment of International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea in January 1993. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan became the founders of the fund. At the same time, in the conditions when the borders of Aral ecological crisis are expanding, it is obvious that solution of these problems requires additional support of the world community. Integrated international approach, active and systematic participation of the United Nations are necessary for solution of this issue.
In December 2008, the UN General Assembly adopted the Resolution initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on giving the status of observer to the International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea. It made positive effect on activation of cooperation with international organizations, sponsoring countries and ecological funds. The adoption of this document means that the UN recognize the IFAS as a partner and demonstrates its intent to support the Fund in achievement of its goals.
The problems of ecology and climate change are regularly included to the agenda of various competent high-level international forums. At the UN Conference on Sustainable Development RIO+20, the subjects of environmental protection, ecological safety and combating negative impacts of the climate change were outlined as the main criteria of universal sustainable development after 2015.
At RIO+20 Summit, having focused on complicated problem of saving of Aral Sea, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made proposal on development of the UN Special Programme for Aral Sea, which has to reflect specific measures for stabilization and improvement of the situation, it was mentioned that measures developed in this field has to be taken as separate activity of the UN.
Constructive initiatives of Turkmen leader find wide understanding and support of the world community, this is visually indicated by the Resolution between the United Nations Organization and the International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea, which was unanimously adopted at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly in April this year. This document suggests specialized agencies, programmes and funds to develop the partnership with the IFAS for joint programmes aimed at improvement of water management, ecological, social and economic situation in Aral Sea basin.
The subject of saving of Aral Sea and improvement of ecological situation in its basin in the context of achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals were discussed during working visits of the UN Secretary � General Antonio Guterres to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states.
Chairing the IFAS in 2017 � 2019 based on special Concept aimed at improvement of enhancement of the efficiency of the Fund Activity, consolidation of constructive partnership between the countries of Aral Sea basin, Turkmenistan demonstrates serious approach to fulfilment of this responsible mission.
According to the initiatives of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the executive Committee of the IFAS developed the concept of the UN Special Programme for Aral Sea basin, which main objective is to activate the cooperation between the IFAS and the United Nations for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the region.
It was highlighted that practice of the IFAS would be useful for solution of similar problems in other regions of the planet.
The UN Special Programme for Aral Sea basin may become efficient platform for multilateral cooperation in solution of the problems of Aral Sea and the base for Global Initiative for problems of inlands seas.
It was proposed to hold the consultations of the experts in Ashgabat for further elaboration of this subject,
Source: Turkmenistan State News Agency-TDH