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Working Group finds improved water resources management in countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia owing to National Policy Dialogues

Bucharest, 7–8 November 2011 — At the fifteenth meeting of the Working Group of the European Union Water Initiative (EUWI) Component for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, participants noted significant progress by the countries of the subregion in meeting their commitments through the National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) process —a process in which the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) is a strategic partner.

The meeting, held in Bucharest, Romania, on 7 and 8 November 2011, to review progress of implementation of the NPDs, exchange experiences between the countries and establish priorities and endorse the Working Group workplan for 2012, brought together 40 delegates from countries of the subregion, the European Union (EU) and Norway, along with representatives of international organizations, including the International Water Association, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the International Water Management Institute and the Global Water Partnership (GWP).

Participants of the Working Group meeting positively assessed the progress of NPDs in each country. They considered that NPDs played an important role in establishment of the enabling environment for effective water resources management in countries of the subregion through revising and improving the legal and institutional framework and water supply and sanitation management practices. In that context, the use of economic instruments in water management was considered an important aspect of the policy dialogues; it promoted a more efficient, productive and equitable water allocation.

The Working Group also approved the workplan for the NPDs for 2012.

EUWI is a partnership aiming at contributing to the achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals. The Working Group is the body which monitors and steers the work of the EUWI in the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia.

National Policy Dialogues on integrated water resources management and water supply and sanitation are the main operational instrument and a flagship activity of the European Union Water Initiative, supported by UNECE and OECD as strategic partners. NPDs are currently implemented in nine countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The meeting was organized by the Romanian Ministry of Environment and Forests, OECD and UNECE. It was supported by the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs through UNDP- Romania.

Materials of the meeting are available at www.unece.org/index.php?id=21168

More information on the EU Water Initiative National Policy Dialogue on IWRM is available at the website www.unece.org/env/water/npd.html

Note to Editors:

The UNECE-supported NPDs on IWRM programme assists Governments of the countries of Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia in promoting implementation of IWRM in line with the principles of the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, its Protocol on Water and Health, the EU Water Framework Directive and other UNECE and EU instruments.

 

NPDs on IWRM are the main operational instrument of the EUWI, an international partnership that aims at contributing to the achievement of the water-related Millennium Development Goals. UNECE is the strategic partner to support the policy dialogue process on IWRM. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is the strategic partner for water supply and sanitation.