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UN urges Central Asian countries to work out legal regulations for water utilization

July 16, 2013, 5:09 UTC+3

Solution of the problem of a joint utilization of water resources is a vital area of activity for UNRCCA in the period of 2012 through to 2014

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UNITED NATIONS, July 16 (Itar-Tass) - UN Security Council has urged all the countries of Central Asia to pay a full-fledged and active role in designing a mutually acceptable legal groundwork for joint utilization of the regions’ heavily limited water resources.

In a statement for the media that was taken upon the results of a meeting attended by the Secretary General’s Special Envoy and head of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia /UNRCCA/, Miroslav Jenca.

“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their support for the efforts of UNRCCA to facilitate dialogue among the Governments of the Central Asian States on regional issues of common concern,” said a statement issued on behalf of the Council by Ambassador Rosemary A. DiCarlo of the U.S., which holds the current term of rotating presidency at the Security Council.

“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed the importance of the use of preventive diplomacy and early warning mechanisms by the United Nations to assist in the peaceful settlement of disputes and in this context acknowledged the role of UNRCCA in assisting Central Asian countries, in accordance with its mandate and through regional cooperation, to respond to domestic and trans-national threats to peace and in supporting the sustainable development of the region,” the statement said.

According to a report at the UN’s official website, Council members “welcomed initiatives by UNRCCA to assist the countries in finding a comprehensive solution to the management of trans-boundary water resources, and took note of ongoing discussions, facilitated by the Centre, on a regional legal framework for this purpose.”

Solution of the problem of a joint utilization of water resources is a vital area of activity for UNRCCA in the period of 2012 through to 2014.

Since the disintegration of the USSR in 1991, the problem of water resources distribution has given rise to serious tensions between Tajikistan and neighboring countries, as the Tajikistani government hopes to eliminate its electric power shortages with the aid of a 3,600 MW Rogun hydropower plant on the mountainous River Vakhsh, the preparatory phase of the construction of which began as far back as in 1976.

The project make the governments of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan feel apprehensive over a possible deterioration of the ecological status of the lower reaches of the Vakhsh after the completion of the 335-meters-tall dam and a resultant shortage of irrigation water.

Also, they keep stressing the fact that the dam is being built in a zone of heightened seismic activity.


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