AKIPRESS.COM - President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimukhamedov took part in the Summit of the heads of state of the founders of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) on September 15 as part of a working visit to Tajikistan, the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan reported.
The summit meeting, held in the year of the 30th anniversary of IFAS, was also attended by President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Joomart Tokayev, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and, as an observer, First Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Kyrgyzstan Adylbek Kasymaliev.
The President of Turkmenistan noted that IFAS has become an important regional platform for dialogue and cooperation in order to solve environmental and socio-economic problems caused by the drying up of the Aral Sea in recent years.
Addressing the participants of the Summit, Serdar Berdimukhamedov stated that Turkmenistan always emphasizes at international forums that the Aral problem has gone far beyond the region and has become a truly global problem requiring the same global response.
According to Berdimukhamedov, Turkmenistan will continue to advocate for the implementation of specific initiatives of the founding countries of IFAS aimed at enhancing regional interaction and forming systemic mechanisms for cooperation in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development in the Central Asian region.
It is proposed to intensify work to improve the legal framework of the Fund and determine the goals and objectives of further work. It is necessary to conduct this process taking into account the interests of all the founding states and the international laws.
The President expressed belief that resolving a set of issues directly related to the Aral issue, as part of the regional environmental agenda, requires deepening international partnership, further promotion of constructive initiatives, and active involvement of specialized UN structures.
As an important step in developing a strategic approach to environmental issues in the region, Turkmenistan proposes to establish a specialized structure - the Regional Center for Technologies Related to Climate Change in Central Asia, which would work substantively and systematically in cooperation with the UN on environmental agenda in the region, the President added.
The President of Turkmenistan, noting that the issue of accelerating the process of development and adoption by our countries of international documents aimed at the conservation and rational use of water resources in Central Asia is relevant, voiced a proposal to intensify joint diplomatic efforts in this direction.
Berdimukhamedov also placed special emphasis on the fact that Turkmenistan, together with the Central Asian countries, pays great attention to promoting "water diplomacy" in the region. In particular, the development of the Central Asian Water Strategy, aimed at regulating water issues between the states, was emphasized.
The President also suggested modernizing the Regional Action Plan for Environmental Protection of Central Asia, adopted within the framework of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of IFAS, in order to include the main provisions of this Plan as an environmental component in the new Action Program to assist the countries of the Aral Sea basin.
During the meeting, its participants summed up the results of the joint work done recently, discussed new, specific directions for further five-sided interaction, as well as possible forms of partnership between IFAS and authoritative international structures, primarily the UN.
The participants also signed the Decision of the Heads of Founding States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea on the results of the chairmanship of Tajikistan, the Decision of the Heads of Founding States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea on activities to improve the organizational structure and legal framework and the Decision of the Heads of the founding states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea on the election of the Fund's President.