A press release from the Heads of States-founders IFAS
On August 24, 2018, the Heads of States-founders International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) Summit was held in national touristic zone Avaza, Turkmenbashi.
The following Heads of States in Central Asia took part in the summit: the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbai Jeenbekov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The major goals of the meetings are to consolidate the results, to discuss new and concrete directions in multilateral cooperation within IFAS including improvement of IFAS, as well as to set priorities and directions in cooperation with international agencies, first and foremost with the UN.
The Presidents of Central Asian countries discussed several important issues related to improvement of environmental, water management, social and economic conditions in the Aral Sea Basin.
The Heads of States-founders IFAS have noted in their statements that they consider IFAS as multipurpose platform for cooperation among states in the region addressing entire set of issues of regional importance including regional project and program implementation directed towards improvement of environmental, social and economic conditions in the Aral Sea Basin and they have expressed their readiness to further develop cooperation in given direction.
During the meetings, the Presidents of Central Asian countries expressed their readiness to further improve organizational structure of IFAS and its legal base with the purpose of establishing effective and sound institutional mechanism that is able to cope with new challenges promptly.
Program of actions on providing assistance to the countries of the Aral Sea Basin (ASBP-4) which was drafted by the experts from Central Asia with the collaboration of international partners, was discussed and later approved.
UN Aral Sea Program drafted by Turkmenistan was presented in the summit. The President’s initiative which was stated in the UN Conference on Sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20) in June, 2012, had its practical implementation. Legal base for drafting Special Program was the UN General Assembly Resolution «Cooperation between United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea» adopted on April 12, 2018 at the initiative of Turkmenistan and this resolution was supported by the Central Asian countries.
Drafting Regional Action plan to protect environment for sustainable development in Central Asia was supported. Regional program will help countries to fulfill their obligations in environment related SDGs and UN environment protection Conventions, implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and introduce «green economy» principles in accordance with resolutions of ICSD, Batumi initiative of ICSD and the Concept of chairmanship of Turkmenistan in IFAS
The participants have stated that addressing the Aral Sea issue became one of priorities for States-founders IFAS.
A communiqué was issued at the end of summit.