Tashkent, Uzbekistan – The First Steering Committee meeting of the National Water Policy Dialogue (NPD) on Integrated Water Resources Management took place in hybrid format under the chairmanship of Mr Shavkat Khamraev, Minister of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Key stakeholders, including national experts from Uzbekistan, representatives of the European Union (EU), international and regional organizations, and NGOs attended this event.

NPDs implemented with the support of the EU, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) take place in 10 countries of the Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA) region. The NPD serves as a platform for discussing a country’s water policy in an inter-sectoral and multi-stakeholder setting, in the spirit of integrated water resources management.

The present meeting launched the National Water Policy Dialogue in Uzbekistan. The participants discussed Uzbekistan’s achievements, challenges and priorities related to the water policy and agreed on a way forward for the NPD implementation.

Other topics for the discussion were devoted to nexus approach, safe and equitable water supply and sanitation, and transboundary cooperation. In this regard, Ms Charlotte Adriaen, Ambassador of the European Union to the Republic of Uzbekistan, stated: “Water resources management in Central Asia can only succeed through strengthened cooperation and increased dialogue. An all-inclusive dialogue on water policy between national stakeholders is a key for success in conservation and sustainable use of vulnerable water resources of Uzbekistan. The European Union will continue supporting Uzbekistan’s efforts in the intersectoral dialogue on water-related issues and mobilising investments to the sector.”

The meeting was organised by the Ministry of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the financial support of the EU and with technical support from UNECE and OECD.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union Water Initiative National Policy Dialogues (NPDs) in Central Asia” (September 2019 – February 2023), implemented by UNECE in cooperation with OECD, aims to enhance integrated water resources management and inter-sectoral coordination for water security at the national level in Central Asian countries to support sustainable development. The project is implemented as part of the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP).

For additional information, please contact Ms Tamara Kutonova, Environmental Affairs Officer, UNECE, email: tamara.kutonova@un.org, Mrs Nurgul Smagulova-Dulic, Event and Communication Officer, WECOOP, email: nurgul.smagulova@wecoop.eu, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan: delegation-kazakhstan-pic@eeas.europa.eu, or EU Delegation to Uzbekistan: EU Delegation to Uzbekistan: delegation-uzbekistan-political@eeas.europa.eu.