EU takes part in high-level conference on Aral Sea region in Uzbekistan

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TASHKENT (TCA) — Nukus, Uzbekistan on October 25 hosted the International High-Level Conference under the auspices of the United Nations, entitled “Aral Sea Region — zone of ecological innovation and technology”.

Also presiding over the event were Peter Burian, Special Representative of the European Union for Central Asia, and the Ambassador of the European Union Delegation to Uzbekistan, Eduards Stiprais, the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan reported.

Peter Burian gave a keynote speech highlighting the role of the European Union in engaging in environmental issues: “The EU is committed to continuing regional cooperation, including through the EU-Central Asia Cooperation Platform on the Environment, Climate. This platform can be used to build confidence, including the joint management of water in the region, an issue that remains sensitive. In line with our Strategy on Central Asia the EU wants to work with everybody who wants to support the sustainable development in Central Asia to increase synergy and complementarity of actions of individual partners for achieving maximum efficiency.”

Ambassador Stiprais also intervened during the first session of the conference, concerning the promotion of a favorable environment for attracting foreign investment to develop and implement environmentally friendly technologies, exemplifying the challenges and opportunities of international cooperation in these donor assistance activities in the Aral Sea region.

As evidence of this, at the end of September the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Trade of Uzbekistan signed a memorandum of understanding, paving the way for an investment program worth 100 million euros, designed to combine international efforts to restore the Aral Sea.

More than 200 participants of the conference — representatives of the diplomatic community in Uzbekistan, international environmental organizations, and experts in the field — got acquainted with exhibitions on the consequences of the Aral Sea disaster, and projects for their elimination, the Jahon information agency reported.

The main goal of the conference was to develop measures on creating conditions for attracting foreign investment in development and implementation of environmentally friendly technologies, the comprehensive implementation of the green economy principles, the development of ecotourism, the introduction of environmentally friendly energy and water saving technologies, technologies that ensure food security and prevent desertification in the Aral region.

Sergey Kwan

TCA