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Agreements with UNECE lay ground for water sector reforms in Georgia and the Republic of Moldova

Published: 17 November 2015

Today UNECE Executive Secretary Christian Friis Bach signed memorandums of understanding with representatives of Georgia and the Republic of Moldova regarding UNECE support for the development of water policies in those countries, in the framework of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) National Policy Dialogues. Similar memorandums will be signed with several other countries, laying the ground for continued assistance of UNECE to the water sector reforms in the region of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The signing ceremony was held on the opening day of the seventh session of the Meeting of Parties to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes in Budapest. The memorandums on the National Policy Dialogues in Georgia and the Republic of Moldova were signed, respectively, by deputy ministers of environment, Ekaterine Grigalava from Georgia and Andrian Delinschi from the Republic of Moldova. Both deputy ministers expressed gratitude to UNECE for the support already provided for the development of national water policies and for the offer to deepen the existing cooperation.

As part of the EUWI process, UNECE has in recent years helped both countries establish integrated water resource management systems. With the support of UNECE, Georgia developed a new Water Law, while four by-laws are currently being drafted to harmonize water legislation with the requirements of the European Union Water Framework Directive. In the Republic of Moldova, UNECE has been involved in designing national water and health targets to further improve clean water supply and wastewater treatment. An implementation and financing plan for the Protocol on Water and Health is currently being finalized in the framework of EUWI process to limit threat of water-borne diseases and to improve the quality of drinking water and the state of sanitation.

At the signing ceremony, the representatives of the European Commission announced the Commission’s decision to provide €7 million for joint work of UNECE and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in the framework of the EUWI National Policy Dialogues in countries of Eastern Europe and the Caucasus in 2016–2019.

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Note to editors

National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and Water Supply and Sanitation are the main operational instrument of the European Union Water Initiative Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. UNECE is the strategic partner for support to the policy dialogue processes on IWRM. NPDs are under way in the following countries of the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. 

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