On the sidelines of the conference in Avaza "The Caspian Sea – the Sea of Friendship and Accord" a "round table" was held with the participation of representatives of five coastal states and the UN. The main topic of discussion was the state of cooperation in the Caspian Sea region.
In this context, the important role of the VI Caspian Summit, which was recently held in Ashgabat, and the upcoming events this year – the VI Conference of the Parties to the Tehran Convention in Azerbaijan and the II Caspian Economic Forum in Russia were emphasized.
The participants also considered some organizational aspects of those draft joint documents that are currently underway, including those related to environmental activities. It was noted that the agreements reached by the heads of the Caspian littoral countries during the June meeting gave a big start to solving common problems related to the sea.
The discussions also touched upon the participation of international organizations in the Caspian cooperation, in particular, in the field of ecology and management of coasts and marine resources in terms of cooperation with the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, with the UN Environment Program, UNEP.
The UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Dmitry Shlapachenko spoke in favor of the active involvement of UNICEF in this work. It was about education in relation to the sea, starting from a younger age, the formation of a public maritime culture.
He also noted that soon the new UNESCO representative will head the regional office in Tehran, and it will be possible to organize her visit to Turkmenistan for a more substantive discussion of cooperation on Caspian affairs. As for the work already underway, Shlapachenko noted the UNDP-supported project “Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Comprehensive Development of Green Cities in Ashgabat and Avaza”.
Interesting proposals, opinions and positions of their countries were expressed by Advisor to the Azerbaijani Embassy Mikael Yusifov, Ambassador of Iran Golam Abbas Arbab Khales, Advisor to the Embassy of Kazakhstan Bostan Suleimenov, Advisor to the Russian Embassy Tatyana Psareva and Director of the Caspian Sea Institute Murad Atajanov.
The meeting was held in a very friendly, positive manner with a businesslike and constructive spirit, becoming not a "duty" event, but a working discussion platform, where many ideas worthy of attention were expressed. Against this background, an initiative was even put forward to create a Caspian discussion club in Turkmenistan for an informal discussion of cooperation issues.