The International Conference of the 4th Summit of the Mekong River Commission was held on 2-3 April 2023 in Vientiane, Laos.
This conference was attended by representatives of the countries of Central Asia and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea under the leadership of the Chairman of the Executive Committee of IFAS, Mr. Sulton Rahimzoda.
The conference aimed to share international experience and knowledge for decision-making and action in the Mekong Basin, and to share the experience and knowledge of the Mekong River Commission with the rest of the world.The conference included plenary and thematic sessions devoted to various aspects of transboundary water cooperation.
At the opening ceremony, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of IFAS presented to the attention of the participants the outcomes of the UN 2023 Water Conference, which was held from 22 to 24 March in New York, co-chaired by Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He noted the importance of this historic conference for a better understanding of the current situation in the field of water resources and the decisions taken to intensify action to achieve water goals.The Chairman of the Executive Committee of IFAS also acted as a panelist in the side event “What do we think about the context of cooperation in the Mekong Basin and beyond?”, organized by the World Bank.
As part of the panel discussion, he outlined the main challenges for transboundary water cooperation, including in the Aral Sea basin, and also presented his vision of the existing opportunities for further development of regional water cooperation in the face of such challenges.Within the framework of this conference, the meetings of the Chairman and representatives of the Executive Committee of IFAS with the leaders and experts from other river basins, including from the Murray-Darling, Columbia, and Mekong basins, were also held.Within the framework of these meetings, information was provided on the activities of IFAS as an important regional institution in Central Asia dealing with water and ecological issues. Representatives of these basins were invited to the International Conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary of IFAS, which will be held from 5 to 7 June 2023 in Dushanbe.
Participation of representatives of EC IFAS and the Central Asian countries at the International Conference of the 4th Summit of the Mekong River Commission took place as part of a study tour to the Mekong River Basin, organized by the World Bank under the CAWEP project to support the process of improving the organizational structure and legal framework of IFAS.