Water issues in Central Asia are discussed at all levels

Water issues in Central Asia are discussed at all levels

In Almaty, trainings for young leaders from the countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan continue. A regional training on water diplomacy with a special emphasis on gender-responsive negotiation and mediation skills, conducted by the OSCE from September 23 to 25, brought together participants from different fields with a specific topic – cross-border cooperation in the Central Asian river basins.

In order to better understand the high-level decision-making processes and the mechanisms of work of the Water Use Commissions, the participants were invited to model negotiations in this area.

The discussions were hot. Despite the fact that the game model was structured, each sought to give all the best for his country and sector. Environmentalists fiercely defended their positions, business on the sidelines held dozens of bilateral negotiations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs systematized and presented initiatives …

And experts, who repeatedly became part of real negotiations, noted that the processes in the game and in life are very similar. And most importantly, the parties are ready to cooperate. The focus on cooperation is already a big step towards its implementation.

For Turkmenistan today, this is a fundamental principle of foreign policy. Ecology has no political boundaries, and the problems considered regional are of global importance.

At the launch of the 74th UN General Assembly in the context of the implementation of initiatives on water diplomacy, on the basis of the Resolutions on cooperation between the United Nations and IFAS, Turkmenistan, as the chairman of the fund, holds extensive international consultations to develop the UN Special Program for the countries of the Aral Sea region.

The focus is on protecting the environment and preserving the natural resources of the Caspian Sea. The work on the creation of the UN Caspian Ecological Program (CEP) has been intensified, which should be a response to the serious environmental challenges facing the region. CEP processes are based on extensive consultations with professionals in the field of regional and international management of science and resources. CEP is a partnership between the Caspian littoral states, the private sector (in particular, the oil and gas industry) and all three implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) (UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank) and the EU’s “Technical Assistance to the Commonwealth of Independent States” program.

On the sidelines and in panel discussions of the General Assembly, senior officials and representatives of relevant departments have repeatedly emphasized that only unification – regional and national, interaction at all levels and access of interested communities to information and projects will facilitate the transition from the negotiation process to practical steps to prevent climate change and solving water issues.

And young people play an important role in this, who must be aware of existing trends in ecology and join the processes of water diplomacy – formal and informal. To this, young activists and the UN Secretary General, Antoniu Guterres, urged:

“I urge you to continue to do what you do. Continue to take the initiative, continue to mobilize [the world community]! And continue to hold my generation accountable — a generation that failed to defend the planet and defend justice,” he said. “I have granddaughters, and I want them to live on a habitable planet.”