After the welcoming ceremony, the leaders had meetings in a narrow and enlarged format.
The President of Kazakhstan stressed the symbolism of holding the Summit in the year of the 25th anniversary of creating the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea and noted that from the very first days of functioning of this important region the activity is directed towards solving complex socioeconomic, water and environmental problems in the Aral Sea basin and the Aral Sea.
- IFAS actively cooperates at the international level, thanks to which the Aral region receives substantial assistance from the international community and international financial institutions. Our joint efforts have contributed to the fact that the Fund received observer status in the UN General Assembly, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.
The Head of State pointed out that the transboundary water resources of Central Asia are the common property and good of the area’s population and stressed that all states actively seek solutions, rational ideas and specific projects are generated.
- At the initiative of the Turkmen side, the issue of adopting the United Nations Special Program for the countries of the Aral Sea basin under the aegis of the United Nations is under consideration. At the suggestion of the Tajik side, the UN General Assembly declared the International Decade for Action referred to as Water for Sustainable Development in 2018. The Uzbek side at a high level in June this year in Tashkent has hosted the Central Asian International Environmental Forum. On the initiative of the Kyrgyz side, with the support of UN agencies, a Strategic Action Program for the Chu and Talas River Basins has been worked out, the President of Kazakhstan said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has said that Kazakhstan is also actively working in this direction and invited the delegations of the countries to participate in the Eighth Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the UN Convention on Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, which will be held in Astana on October 10-12 this year.
The Kazakh leader has separately dwelled on the positive results that became possible due to the joint efforts being undertaken.
- As a result of the large-scale project called Regulation of the Syrdarya River Bed and Preservation of the Northern Part of the Aral Sea, the ecological situation in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya River has significantly improved. The Northern Aral has been restored, where since 2010 the water level is kept at a stable level of 42 meters, the salinity of water is decreasing, the forage base of the sea, flora and fauna are being restored. The microclimate and social conditions in Kazakhstan’s part of the Aral Sea have become better. A number of fish processing enterprises have been opened, whose products are exported abroad, the President of Kazakhstan said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev drew attention to the fact that the topical issues, the IFAS tasks, aimed at improving the organization efficiency and coordinating joint efforts, were discussed in detail in the narrow structure, and separately focused on the measures proposed by the Kazakh side.
- We need to better the organizational framework and the IFAS legal base following the Fund’s existing institutions. The time has come to automate the system of administration, distribution, accounting and monitoring of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, including their quality. Under the existing circumstances to follow up the issue of establishing the International Water and Energy Consortium of Central Asia. It is necessary to consider the permanent deployment of the Executive Committee of IFAS in one of our countries, the President of Kazakhstan said.
The Head of State has noted that today's meeting is a landmark event of international scale and will give a new impetus to the process of regional cooperation in the use of water resources and ecology.
- We have defined new priorities and tasks here. The solution of these issues is of fundamental importance for ensuring the sustainable development and prosperity of Central Asia. Therefore, all this requires further coordinated joint actions from us. For my part, I want to assure you that Kazakhstan has been and remains a consistent and reliable partner in the issues of regional cooperation, Nursultan Nazarbayev said.