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Celebrating 10 years of successful UNECE support to water policy reform in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in Paris

A decade of efforts by UNECE and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to support countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia to modernize the management of their water resources have paid off. Successes include the adoption of a water sector reform programme in Tajikistan, the reshaping of water tariff policy in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, the development of new water legislation in Georgia and the setting of targets under the Protocol on Water and Health in a number of countries.

These success stories were presented and discussed at a meeting organized by UNECE and OECD under the EU Water Initiative in Paris on 12 and 13 May 2016. The nineteenth meeting of the EU Water Initiative subregional Working Group was attended by delegates from 12 countries of the region. At the meeting, country representatives indicated their appreciation for the ongoing support and detailed their plans for the future.

A broad range of achievements were discussed, covering legal and institutional reforms, managing water for green growth, the water-food-energy nexus, and transboundary cooperation.

Representatives of the European Commission reconfirmed the Commission’s commitment to provide core funding of €24 million for the next four-year phase of the EU Water Initiative in the Eastern Partnerships countries — Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. UNECE, OECD and a group of EU member States will jointly implement the activities. Support for activities in Central Asia will also be continued with practical arrangements still under preparation.

With core funding from the European Commission under the EU Water Initiative, OECD and UNECE have been working with countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia to update their policies and infrastructure for water resources management for 10 years now. The work has been accomplished by means of National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) on Integrated Water Resources Management Water Supply and Sanitation, which are the main operational instrument of the EU Water Initiative in the region. NPDs are currently under way in 10 countries of these countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. Experts from Belarus and Uzbekistan also attended the Working Group meeting. The next meeting of the Working Group will be hosted by UNECE in October 2016 in Geneva.

For more information, please visit: www.unece.org/env/water/npd