On March 22-24 the United Nations Conference on the Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development”, 2018–2028, was held at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The Conference was attended by 7 heads of state and government, vice presidents, deputy prime ministers and more than 70 national ministers with water portfolios.
Within the framework of the Conference, 5 interactive high-level dialogues and more than 30 side events on various topics were organized.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres, speaking at the opening of the Conference, proposed consolidating joint efforts in the following four areas to overcome the global water crisis:
- fair access to water;
- investments in water management;
- sustainable consumption of water resources;
- fight against climate change.
During the Conference, along with high-ranking representatives of national governments, the Presidents of the UN General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs also delivered the statements.
The main goal of the conference was the adoption of voluntary commitments by the UN Member States, international organizations and financial institutions to implement the second phase of the International Decade for Action on Water and implement the relevant Sustainable Development Goals.
The delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the Chairman of the State Committee for Water Resources of Turkmenistan Mr. Durdy Genjiyev also took part in the Conference.
Addressing the forum, the Turkmen delegation outlined the main approaches of Turkmenistan on water issues and key areas for the development of the country’s international cooperation in this field.
In particular, it was underlined that Turkmenistan proceeds from the principle that water is the common heritage of humanity, and equal and fair access to water and sanitation are fundamental human rights. In this regard, it is the responsibility of national governments to ensure the right to access water, especially in the current challenging environment of global health and food security crises.
It was also emphasized that Turkmenistan stands for addressing all emerging regional water and energy challenges through following principles:
- firstly, on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law;
- secondly, taking into account the interests of each country;
- thirdly, with the active participation of international organizations, primarily the United Nations.
Stressing that water diplomacy is one of the priorities of the foreign policy of Turkmenistan, the delegation reiterated national initiatives on rational use of water resources and strengthening international cooperation in solving environmental problems, in particular, the proposal to develop a UN Water Strategy, the establishment of a UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin and the establishment of a Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia.
The delegation of Turkmenistan also took part in the high-level side event “Central Asia: Commitments for Water Action Agenda” organized jointly by the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, as the country chairing IFAS, and the World bank.
/// nCa, 25 March 2023 [in cooperation with Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the United Nations, New York]