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19.07.2010

On the 16th July 2010 in Almaty, Deputy UN Secretary General, Executive Secretary of UN European Economic Commission, Jan Kubis and the UNECE Regional Adviser on Environment, Bo Libert, met with representatives of Executive Committee on the development of relations between IFAS with UN agencies and implementing joint projects with UNECE.

In December 2008 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution providing an observer status in the Assembly to IFAS. This step presents recognition by UN of importance of IFAS mission in assisting countries in the Aral Sea basin and implementation of joint practical actions and programs aimed at environmental rehabilitation of the Aral Sea and the Aral Sea Basin, taking into account interests of all countries of the Region.

UNECE is actively promoting cooperation among the States in the framework of IFAS, as a neutral intermediary in dealing with complex issues on improving regional cooperation in water management, bringing expertise to help the Central Asian states, as well as facilitating the search of funding to address the specific problems. For several years, the UNECE and IFAS are jointly implementing a project "Capacity building and regional cooperation on dam safety in Central Asia", which aims to improve national legislation on dam safety in the participating countries and strengthen regional cooperation in this field.

Another project, in partnership with IFAS, - "Regional dialogue and cooperation on water resources management" is being implemented by UNECE, with support of the Government of Germany through GTZ. Being aimed at strengthening the legal framework and strengthening of regional organizations of IFAS, the project relies on the Joint statement of the summit of the Heads of IFAS states in April 2009, where five Presidents of Central Asian countries expressed their willingness to improve institutional structure and legal framework for regional cooperation. UNECE provides support to Executive Committee IFAS in the development of the Third Action Programme to assist countries in the Aral Sea Basin for the period 2011-2015 (ASBP-3), in order to ensure that the development process of the Program will bring to a qualitatively new level of interaction with international organizations and donor community.

During the visit to the Executive Committee, Jan Kubis also discussed issues on the agenda of the IFAS Board scheduled for mid-August 2010.

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