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Kazakhstan takes first step towards joining UNECE Protocol on Water and Health

Published: 09 December 2013

On Friday, 6 December, the working group of the Kazakh National Policy Dialogue on water adopted its workplan for 2014-2015 at a meeting in Astana. One of the key areas of work foreseen for the coming years are preparations for Kazakhstan’s joining the Protocol on Water and Health to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes.

In spring of 2013 Kazakhstan became the ninth country in the region of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia to join the National Policy Dialogue (NPD) process. Conducted within the framework of the European Union Water Initiative, the NPD process provides a platform for closer cooperation between different ministerial agencies for discussion of the direction of national water sector policy. The NPD process in Kazakhstan is coordinated jointly by UNECE and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The working group meeting was chaired by Mr. Bulat Bekniyaz, head of the Water Resources Committee at the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources. A workplan for 2014–2015 was discussed and adopted at the meeting, with two main areas of work for next year: UNECE will support Kazakhstan in studying the possibilities for joining the UNECE/World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO-Europe) Protocol on Water and Health; and OECD will help to develop economic models for water supply and sanitation in rural areas of Kazakhstan.

Note for Editors:

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. More information is available at:

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe

Information Unit

Palais des Nations, 

CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland

Tel.: +41 (0) 22 917 44 44

Fax: +41 (0) 22 917 05 05