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The working meeting of the Expert group on improving the structure and legal basis of IFAS took place on October 23 in Almaty.

The main task of the Expert group is to assist in the implementation of the Joint Statement of the Heads of States IFAS, on "... improving the institutional and legal framework of IFAS with the aim to increase its efficiency and greater interaction with financial institutions and donors to implement projects and programs coping with the Aral Sea Basin...".

On August 16, 2010 the Expert group was formed to prepare proposals for changes and amendments to the statutes of IFAS. Accordingly, the meeting was attended by delegations consisting of representatives of the Executive Committee of IFAS, the national experts and representatives from the IFAS member-states, as well as experts from the regional organizations IFAS, and the international expert on water law. The meeting was also attended by the UNECE regional advisors and the representative of GTZ.

By the moment the completed work includes an analysis of this situation carried out by national and international experts (set out in the discussion paper dated January 31, 2010). This workshop was aimed to clarify positions and to reach consensus between the countries on improving the structure and statutes of IFAS. The meeting participants presented position of the countries and expressed their views on possible options to improve the cooperation mechanism at the regional level. At present, it presents suitable to the evolutionary path of development ("soft" option).

In the final session, members of the Expert group discussed the work plan on improving the structure and statutes of IFAS in 2010 to 2011. The next work phase includes preparation of conceptual proposals, including clear articulation of approaches to implementation by the Expert group.


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