Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier presented the parameters for a Central Asia water initiative this morning (1 April) at the opening of the international ministerial conference "Water Unites" held in the Federal Foreign Office.
In his opening address, Federal Minister Steinmeier advocated enhanced transboundary water management and stressed Germany's willingness to support the countries of this region in this endeavour: "We want to work together on a longer-term basis. To this end we are offering a structured water partnership between Germany and Central Asia."
The Central Asia water initiative is intended to be a German contribution towards the EU's Central Asia strategy. The five parameters are:
- Support for the establishment of a Central Asian water management academy and/or a network of national water management centres.
- Enhanced cooperation between German and Central Asian research institutions.
- New courses in the sphere of water management at the Kazakh-German University in Almaty.
- Networking among water experts, as well as invitations to Europe, among other things, to examine specific issues.
- Enhanced know-how transfer and investment promotion with the help of the expertise available in the private sector.
The full version of the opening address as well as further information on the conference and the participants can be found online at: http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de.
The Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the former Polish Prime Minister Dr Marek Belka, announced a follow-up conference.