On August 25-30, 2019, Stockholm hosted World Water Week, which for more than 25 years has been an important platform for government, business, scientific circles, as well as international organizations and civil society to discuss water resources and sustainable development.
At the invitation of the organizer - Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), this major event was attended by the Kazakh delegation headed by Ambassador-at-large of the MFA Ayimdos Bozzhigitov. The delegation included Deputy Director of the Department of transboundary rivers of the Ministry of ecology, geology and natural resources of Kazakhstan Mukhtar Zhakenov and Deputy Director of KazISS under the President of Kazakhstan Sanat Kushkumbayev.
More than 3.5 thousand people from 145 countries took part in the World week. The program prepared by the Regional environmental center for Central Asia (CAREC) included panel discussions and seminars on promoting global and regional environmental and water initiatives. Participation in the forum of delegations from all countries of Central Asia and Afghanistan allows to exchange experience gained in the region, to deepen cooperation with international partners, experts and practitioners from around the world.
During the Week, two meetings were held in the format of Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, which provided an opportunity to discuss the most pressing problems that currently are barriers to the expansion of regional cooperation on water resources.
Kazakh experts have identified the main priority for our country – the rational use of water and energy resources of transboundary rivers. Particular importance is attached to the activities of the International Fund for saving the Aral sea, whose summit was successfully held last year in Turkmenistan. The attention of the delegations was drawn to the importance of implementing the agreements reached between the heads of the IFAS founding States and the concrete initiatives and proposals put forward by the parties during the summit, in particular, the issue of establishing the International water and energy consortium of Central Asia.
In the framework of the World water week, the Kazakh delegation met with the President of the Stockholm City Council Cecilia Brink, a member of the Board of Directors of SIWI and Executive Director of SIWI Torgni Holmgren. According to T. Holmgren, «World water week is the main meeting place of the international community on water resources and development; it is here that we come together to put forward the most advanced ideas».
The Swiss Agency for development and cooperation provided practical assistance to the arrival of representatives of the region for Water week. This Alpine country provides significant financial and technical assistance to Central Asia on water and environmental projects.
Significantly, the World Water Week was held on the eve of the Second Central Asian expert Forum «Dialogue on water issues in Central Asia: through the national to the regional», which will open its work in Nur Sultan on September 5 this year. The forum is organized by the Kazakhstan Institute for strategic studies (KazISS) under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the UN Regional centre for preventive diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCPDCA) and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Central Asia.