Ladies and gentlemen, Dear guests,
In December 2010, with the initiative of the Government of Tajikistan and with the support of many partner countries, the United Nations’ General Assembly adopted a resolution (65/154) declaring 2013 the International Year of Water Cooperation. On 11th February 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris the International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 was launched by Tajikistan Minister for Foreign Affairs H.E. H.Zarifi and the Director-General of UNESCO Ms. Irina Bokova.
This resolution is encourages all Member States, the United Nations system and all other actors to take advantage of the Year to promote actions at all levels, including through international cooperation, as appropriate, aimed at the achievement of the internationally agreed water-related goals contained in Agenda 21 the Program for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 the United Nations Millennium Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, as well as to increase awareness of their importance; For the implementation of the water related Internationally Agreed Development Goals, and sharing of best practices on cooperation among various water users, the Government of Tajikistan is organizing the High Level International Conference on water cooperation under the auspices of the United Nations in Dushanbe on August 20-21st, 2013. It is expected that the Conference will be attended by High Level representatives from the member states; representatives of international and non-governmental organizations; civil society and private sector; river basin organizations and commissions; national and regional water commissions; scientific, educational and cultural organizations; children and women organizations; regional and international financial organizations; UN agencies and etc.
Main events of the Conference: a) 2 High level plenary sessions; b) 4 round table discussions on: – Water cooperation for achieving the MDGs and IADGs (equitable universal access to water; poverty alleviation; access to the elementary sanitation; food and energy security, etc.) ; -Water cooperation for peace and security (transboundary water cooperation; joint actions for meeting global and regional water challenges; water cooperation issues at the local, national, regional and international levels,);
– Water cooperation for sustainable development and environmental sustainability (Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM); protection of water resources; adaptation to climate change and disaster risk reduction);
– Capacity building and science development for water cooperation (strengthening of the role of national, regional and subnational institutions on water management issues, etc.). c) Side-events of the countries, regional and international institutes, as well as women organizations, transboundary river basin organizations, and others on different aspects of water cooperation.
d) Thematic exhibition and presentations (films, posters, books, brochures, calendars, schemes and other materialsthat demonstrate cooperation among countries, societies, NGOs, water users, etc.).
Main goals of the Conference: 1. To discuss different aspects of the implementation of the International Year of Water Cooperation in the UN member states, and strengthening of cooperation and dialogue to resolve current water issues, towards achieving the MDGs and IADGs;
2. To highlight best practices in different countries and regions of the world in water cooperation among water users at local, national and regional levels, in improving access to safe drinking water and sanitation, and in promoting efficient use of water resources for development and environmental protection;
3. To prepare specific recommendations on effective implementation approaches and mechanisms towards joint use of water resources in transboundary basins of rivers, aquifers and lakes;
4. To ensure the engagement of all stakeholders, especially women, to encourage new dialogue and participatory approaches, including Water Users Associations, various unions, at all levels of cooperation;
5. To foster cooperation through a broader approach including, South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation initiatives for water resources management, in particular, through capacity development, exchange of experiences, best practices and lessons learned, as well as sharing environmentally sound technologies and know-how;
6. To foster transboundary water cooperation by joining and implementing regional and international agreements, and bilateral and multilateral frameworks, as well as existing mechanisms and modalities of water diplomacy. To address water cooperation issues at the local, national and regional and international levels;
7. To get a better idea of the issues and challenges faced by various countries and regions through the exhibition, presentations and side events.
Dear ladies and gentlemen, Dear guest, The objective of this International Year is to raise awareness, both on the potential for increased cooperation, and on the challenges facing water management in light of the increase in demand for water access, allocation and services. The Year will highlight the history of successful water cooperation initiatives, as well as identify burning issues on water education, water diplomacy, transboundary water management, financing cooperation, national/international legal frameworks, and the linkages with the Millennium Development Goals.
It also will provide an opportunity to capitalize on the momentum created at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and to support the formulation of new objectives that will contribute towards developing water resources that are truly sustainable.
Water is the main natural resource of Tajikistan. The President of the Republic of Tajikistan, H.E. Mr. Emomali Rahmon calls upon International Community to pay proper attention to the matter. As you all know as a main natural resource of my country water is crucial for the economic growth of Tajikistan and very essential to the development of our neighboring countries.