UNECE cooperates with Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development to strengthen implementation of Rio+20 outcomes in Central Asia

The expert meeting, “Outcomes of Rio+20: challenges and opportunities for the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development” took place on 30 May 2013 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Participants at the meeting, co-organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Scientific and Information Center of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of Central Asia (ICSD), agreed on the mandate of a task force to develop an in-depth study and recommendations on how ICSD could contribute efficiently to the implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20 Conference) at the regional level.

In the Rio+20 outcome document, The Future We Want, United Nations Member States renewed their commitment to sustainable development and to ensuring the “promotion of an economically, socially and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for future generations”. The document places the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. It also deals extensively with institutional frameworks for sustainable development and lays out a framework for action and follow-up.

“The outcome document of Rio+20 Conference recognizes the key role of institutions in its implementation and repeatedly mentions the need to improve institutional frameworks. The document places high responsibility on such organizations as the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development”, said Andrey Vasilyev, UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary, in opening remarks at the expert meeting.

The meeting included an in-depth discussion of the methods and approaches to increase the role of ICSD in promoting green development in Central Asia. New challenges and opportunities brought about by the Rio+20 Conference might require further strengthening of this regional body and closer substantive cooperation of ICSD with other organizations and institutions under the umbrella of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS). Participants reviewed the implementation of the Regional Environmental Action Plan and discussed its possible update. They also addressed participation of ICSD in the implementation of the Third Aral Sea Basin Programme and opportunities for ICSD to improve access to international and donor assistance for green development.

The expert meeting took place in the framework of the UNECE Programme “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia” supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

For more information see http://www.unece.org/env/water/cadialogue/2ndphase.html or contact

Marton Krasznai

Regional Adviser, UNECE
Tel.: +41 22 917 2760

E-mail: marton.krasznai@unece.org

Note for Editors

Phase II of the UNECE Programme, “Regional Dialogue and Cooperation on Water Resources Management in Central Asia”, aims to improve the capacity of IFAS, including its organizations and institutions and continue the strengthening of their legal basis. The project is a component of the “Transboundary Water Management in Central Asia” programme carried out by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Foreign Office.

IFAS was established by the five Central Asian States — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan — to implement in a coordinated way the practical measures and programmes to overcome the impacts of the Aral crises and to improve environmental and socioeconomic conditions in the Aral Sea Basin.

ICSD is a body of IFAS in charge of coordinating regional cooperation on environment and sustainable development in Central Asia. ICSD is mandated to develop and coordinate implementation of a regional sustainable development strategy, action plans and programmes, to prepare regional projects and to coordinate the implementation by Central Asian countries of their commitments under environmental conventions with a transboundary dimension.

GIZ is an international cooperation enterprise for sustainable development with worldwide operations, which supports the German Government in achieving its development policy objectives.