On 31 August 2022, in Stockholm, Sweden, as part of the World Water Week, a special session of the Executive Committee of IFAS was held under the title “Seeing the unseen: The value of water in development of regional cooperation in Central Asia”.
The session was organized with the financial support of the European Union and aimed at demonstrating at the global level the experience and good regional water cooperation of the countries of Central Asia through the existing institutional mechanism (IFAS).
The main objectives of the session were to rethink the importance of water in improving regional cooperation and economic development, to consider the role of water in achieving water, energy, food and ecological security in Central Asia in the context of climate change and other challenges, recognizing the cost of inaction and the future benefits of regional water cooperation.
In addition, the session provided a platform to discuss how the countries of the region and development partners can best cooperate in achieving the SDGs in Central Asia and prepare for the UN 2023 Water Conference, which will be held on 23-24 March, in New York under the chairmanship of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
The session was attended by Mr. Jamshed Shoimzoda – First Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Resources of the Republic of Tajikistan, Mr. Simon Zbinden Head of Global Program Water at Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Mr. Winston Yu – Water Practice Manager for Europe and Central Region at the World Bank, Mr. William Rex- Senior Advisor at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), Ms. Mina Guli, Global Water and Environment Activist and Ms. Cholpon Aitahunova Head of Central Asia Youth for Water (CAY4W) and regional co-coordinator for Central Asia and Afghanistan.
The session became inclusive and comprehensive, covering all stakeholders in the sustainable development of the region, including representatives of the Governments of Central Asian countries, development partners, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, youth and others.