On 6 June 2023, the International Conference “Central Asia: Towards Sustainable Future through Strong Regional Institution” dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea started its work at the National Library of Tajikistan in Dushanbe.
The Conference is urged to highlight the special role of IFAS as a unique platform for water, energy, and environmental cooperation in Central Asia, reflect on the past achievements of the Fund, give an idea of the current areas of cooperation, and develop a program for the future vision. Including the pre-conference day – on 5 June in which 7 special and side events were organized by development partners and aimed at facilitating dialogue between various stakeholder groups, lessons learned from years of cooperation in the region, and the need to respond to new challenges, requiring a more inclusive and transformational approach, the Conference includes three days of events and will continue until 7 June.
The opening ceremony of the Conference was attended on behalf of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, the President of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, H.E. Emomali Rahmon, by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Qohir Rasulzoda, First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Sklyar R.V., Advisor to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Ganiev Sh.M., Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Yazmiradov A.O., Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the Kyrgyz Republic Ramatov Murat Samidinovich, high-ranking representatives of development partners – Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana- Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), Ms. Antonella Bassani – World Bank Regional Vice President for Europe and Central Asia, Ms. Terhi Hakala – European Union Special Representative for Central Asia and others.
Various interactive dialogue sessions were held within the framework of the Conference, which provides participants with the opportunity to share knowledge, and many years of experience, and discuss interesting projects, approaches, initiatives, and solutions related to the history and future of water partnership and cooperation in the field of environmental protection.
The total number of participants in the Conference was more than 500 people, including experts, scientists, and enthusiasts from IFAS Founding states and other regions, representing government bodies, international organizations, financial institutions, academia, youth, women, civil society, etc.