Regional priorities

Presidents of the Central Asian states

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

Today by sharing common interests and challenges, our region has entered a next stage of its development. In this respect, close and constructive political dialogue among all five regional countries will be instrumental for trade, economic, investment and people-to-people interaction. New opportunities have emerged for the region after the first informal consultations at the highest level held in our capital last year.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

We are interested in developing a systematic political dialogue in a five-sided format. Successful regional cooperation will allow us to achieve concrete results in solving existing problems and improve the well-being of our peoples. I am convinced that we have all the necessary prerequisites for stable, open and dynamic development on the basis of friendship and good neighborliness.

Sooronbai Jeenbekov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic
Sooronbai Jeenbekov, President of the Kyrgyz Republic
Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan

The effective use of the region’s water and energy potential is another important aspect of our cooperation [along with regional investments, agriculture and other]. The consequences of climate change and the increasing demand for water resources associated with population growth and the development of economies in the region dictate the need for coordination and joint actions in the field of integrated use of water resources.

Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Tajikistan

I believe that we should unite our efforts on a common worldview platform, as well as the principles of equal and fair access to water resources as the duties of each responsible state. […] We believe that consideration and resolution of water use problems should be based on universally recognized norms of international law, mutual respect and consideration of the interests of all states in the region and with the participation of specialized international organizations.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan
Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan is interested in the region to become a zone of stability, sustainable development and good neighborliness. A peaceful, economically prosperous Central Asia is our most important goal and key task. Uzbekistan is determined to engage in dialogue, constructive interaction and strengthening good-neighborliness.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

International perspective

António Guterres, UN Secretary General

The gradual disappearance of the [Aral] sea was not due to climate change, but due to improper water management. The Aral Sea’s progressive disappearance was not because of climate change, it was mismanagement by humankind of water resources. But it also shows that if in relation to climate change, we are not able to act forcefully to tame this phenomenon, we might see this kind of tragedy multiply around the world.

António Guterres, UN Secretary General

The Central Asia region has the most to gain from properly managing water resources under climate change compared to other regions. Our assessments show that of all the world’s regions, the impact of future water consumption patterns has the greatest impact on economic growth in Central Asia.

Lilia Burunciuc, the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia
Lilia Burunciuc, the World Bank Regional Director for Central Asia
Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia

We clearly registered this new spirit of regional cooperation and solidarity in Samarkand in 2017 during the Conference on regional development and security. We welcome these “new positive winds blowing" in Central Asia conducive to strengthening regional cooperation. […] We see the need to further reenergise interregional and intraregional cooperation for addressing the rapidly growing impact of climate change in the region.

Peter Burian, EU Special Representative for Central Asia

[…] If the question is what can the governments of Central Asia, what can the people of Central Asia be doing about this thing [addressing the water deficit] – then they have to be working together. A lot of water sources are shared. So that is the beginning point; to set up cooperative arrangements, institutions between the governments of the region that make practical solutions possible to handle the problem.

Dan Smith, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Director
Dan Smith, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Director

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