The 8th Session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention was held in Astana, Kazakhstan on 10–12 October 2018. It was the first meeting in the Asian region. Thus, Kazakhstan will preside as chairmanship of the Water Convention for the period from 2019 to 2021. The meeting was divided into high level and general segments. Since the use of transboundary waters is very relevant and important for Kazakhstan, this event was attended by representatives of the Central Asian regional network CAR@WAN secretariat in Kazakhstan – The Center “Cooperation for Sustainable Development”.
Issues such as “Sharing waters in the context of growing water scarcity: How can transboundary water cooperation make a difference?” and “Transboundary water cooperation: Sharing water for people, planet, prosperity and peace” were discussed at the session. In addition there were very informative side-events. One of them was “Results of the Summit of the Heads of State of Central Asia: Practical solutions and prospects for regional water cooperation”, organized by International Fund for saving the Aral sea. At this event, attention was again drawn to the urgency of the issue of further strengthening of transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia, especially in the Aral Sea part.
The issues of monitoring and control of water quality were also discussed. In addition, based on the results of the event, the governments of Central Asian countries were encouraged among other things to initiate advisory work among the Central Asian countries to develop a special UN program for the Aral Sea Basin; step up work on adaptation and combating climate change in Central Asia; and pay attention to reducing pollution of transboundary waters.
The Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Minister of Agriculture Umirzak Shukeyev noted that the President Nursultan Nazarbayev pays special attention to the issues of transboundary cooperation, including transboundary water resources, noting that they are common heritage and the good of all the peoples of the region. Kazakhstan adheres to the position to build civilized international water relations based on the norms of international law.