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Eighth session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention

10 - 12 October 2018

Astana, Kazakhstan

Side event on National Policy Dialogues under the EU Water Initiative: Achievements, lessons learned and benefits for transboundary cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development


Date and time: Thursday 11 October, 8.30-9.45am
Location: Astana EXPO Congress Center, Room n°3. Esil
Organizers: Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, EU, UNECE, OECD, UBA (Austria), IoW (France), IWAC
Languages: English and Russian


This side event aims to take stock of recent achievements and share good practices and lessons learned from the National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) implemented by UNECE and OECD in cooperation with partners within the frames of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI). The EUWI was launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 to support the achievement of water-related Millennium Development Goals and later the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The side event will reflect on the remaining challenges in the Eastern Partnership countries and Central Asia and aims to showcase benefits of the National Policy Dialogues as platforms for enhancing transboundary cooperation and for the implementation of the water-related SDGs.

The implementation of the EUWI in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia has been facilitated jointly by the OECD and UNECE since 2006. For the six countries of the EU Eastern Partnership, a specific 4-year project, the EUWI+, started in 2016 and is jointly implemented by UNECE, OECD and the EU Member States Consortium, which includes the Austrian Environment Agency (UBA) and the International Office for Water of France (IoW). In Central Asia, specific projects such as the EU Green Economy project in Kazakhstan with UNDP as the lead partner and projects under the FinWater WEI II programme of Finland for Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, are currently helping to implement activities within the EUWI framework.


Moderator: Mr. Alisher Mamadzhanov, Regional Coordinator of EUWI NPDs, UNECE

  • Opening words and introduction

    • Mr. Yerlan Nysanbayev, Vice-Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chair, Keynote speech on the role EUWI NPD in Kazakhstan
    • Ms. Olga Algayerova, Executive Secretary, UNECE, Opening statement
    • Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director for Strategy, Directorate General for the Environment, European Commission, Opening remarks
    • Mr. Ari Niiranen, Director General, Ministry of the Environment, Finland, Opening remarks

  • Moderated high-level panel discussion on the role of National Policy Dialogues under the European Union Water Initiative to advance water sector reforms in the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian countries to overcome existing and future challenges: Achievements, lessons learned and remaining challenges

    • Panellists: High-level representatives and EUWI national focal points from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Ukraine (tbc).

  • Follow-up questions and short summary from the Moderator
  • Questions from the floor
  • Closure of the event by the Chair