The international conference “Water for life” is taking place in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on Tuesday. The three-days event, hosted and organised by the Government of Tajikistan, was opened by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It was his first visit to Tajikistan where he will also meet President Emomali Rahmon.
The conference is expected to gather more than 300 international delegates to discuss progress and challenges with the United Nations International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015. Representatives of governments, international organisations and civil society will also identify further efforts to ensure the sustainable development of water resources.
The Government of Tajikistan has joined forces with the UN in organising the High Level International Conference. Sponsors of the event include the United Nations Development Programme, the Organisation for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, the United Nations Children's Rights & Emergency Relief Organization, the UN South-South Steering Committee for Sustainable Development and the Government of Switzerland.
The EBRD, which has been operating in Tajikistan since 1992, is a partner of the conference. In addition, the Bank has organised a pre-conference event alongside the Committee for Women and Family Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan focused on bolstering the role of women. Michaela Bergman, EBRD Chief Social Counsellor, moderated one of the panels and Catarina Bjorlin Hansen, Senior Banker for Municipal & Environmental Infrastructure, was one of the speakers.
Tajikistan provides over ample water resources and its mountains are the source of approximately 60 per cent of Central Asia’s water supplies. However, to use these resources in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way requires considerable investments. The country has placed water issues at the forefront of its policy and is asking for regional and international approaches to the global water challenges.
Since the beginning of its operations in the country, the EBRD has invested over US$450 million in Tajikistan in almost 100 projects across many sectors of the economy.