Turkmenistan offers to work out water strategy with UN

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov put forward an initiative to work out the UN water strategy, the government of Turkmenistan said April 13.

President Berdimuhamedov was delivering a speech at the seventh World Water Forum, which opened in the South Korean city of Daegu.
“Today, water problems can not be considered in isolation from global development plans, environmental and food security, the creation of an integrated sustainable energy system,” the president said.

“We see the possibility of a systematic and multi-level dialogue in the creation of a new political and diplomatic form of multilateral communication, which could be the “water diplomacy”, the president said. “This dialogue is aimed at considering all problems associated with the formation and restoration of water sources, their rational and economic consumption.”

In this regard, he expressed confidence such joint activity could beсome the foundation for the work on the preparation of a comprehensive UN document on water. Noting that the “Water Strategy of the United Nations” could become such a document, the president of Turkmenistan invited the World Water Forum participants to objectively consider this initiative of his country.

Berdimuhammadov also focused on such an important point, as access to water. The president expressed his support for the UN initiative on the recognition of access to water as a fundamental human right, noting that the universal right to use water resources and the responsibility for their effective management lie at the heart of such an approach.

“In Central Asia, the water issue acts as a major, and in some cases as a determining factor for development,” the Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said.

“Under these conditions, a regional consensus is the only acceptable platform for effective collaboration of the states,” the newspaper said.

Turkmenistan joined the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (dated March 17, 1992) in 2012.

UN welcomed this decision of Turkmenistan’s parliament saying that it is an important step towards strengthening the trans-boundary water cooperation and complex management of water resources. This agreement is very relevant for the country with 80-90 percent of territories being desert.

Turkmenistan borders with Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Iran and Afghanistan and uses water resources received from four trans-boundary rivers – Amu Darya, Tejen, Atrek and Murghab – in accordance with the agreed quotas.

Edited by CN