From May 7 to May 9, 2009 President of the World Water Council Mr. Loïc Fauchon visited Uzbekistan.
The World Water Council (WWC) is one of the most authoritative international organizations engaged in the global water problems. This organization was established on June 14, 1996 in the city of Marseille in France on the initiative of the group of renowned specialists on water problems and number of international organizations in response to growing concerns of the world community about the global water problems.
During his stay in Uzbekistan Mr. Fauchon has been familiarized with the situation in the country related to water, visited several economic facilities located in Andijan, Ferghana and Samarkand provinces. The WWC president has learnt about Uzbekistan’s position on the water issue, held meetings and talks at the ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan.
On the outcomes of the meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Economy of Uzbekistan the sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry and the World Water Council on promoting awareness and consolidating the regional cooperation in Central Asia.
On the outcomes of his visit to Uzbekistan President of the World Water Council Mr. Loïc Fauchon spoke to the Information Agency “Jahon” and said that “The water symbolizes peace. This is a source of peace and we must promote the development of dialogue in the region on all available issues.”
Concerning the Statement of heads of the International Fund for Saving Aral founding states adopted on April 28, 2009 in the city of Almaty, the President of the World Water Council considers it “from the standpoint that not a single country has a right for an absolute priority in the issues of water use and from this point of view it is necessary to carry on a dialogue and look for compromises”.
Mr. Fauchon has also said that he fully supported the statement of the President of the World Bank Mr. Robert Zoellick on the need to conduct an independent international examination of the construction of the scheduled hydropower facilities in the countries of Central Asia. According to him, at the moment any large projects must be considered not only from the technical point of view, but in complex, i.e. including the social and ecological consequences, while taking into account to what extent those consequences, and particularly, those that would proceed from such facilities as the Kambarata Hydropower Station in Kyrgyzstan and Rogun Hydropower Station in Tajikistan, might have an impact on further prosperity of the people that reside on the territory of Central Asia.
“Proceeding from this, I would like to repeat once again that we stand ready to offer the experts of the World Water Council to be further involved in conducting the independent international examination, which was mentioned about in the letter by Mr. Robert Zoellick addressed to the Uzbek Leader,” President of the World Water Council said.
The WWC president believed that at the moment a difficult set of not only ecological, but also the social-economic and demographic problems of a global scale have emerged in the Aral Sea adjacent area. In this context, it should be noted that their solution would be accelerated if all states coordinate their efforts in terms of finding the new ways of supplying the Aral Sea with water. For this, the attitude towards water must be changed, i.e. to use it more reasonably – save a certain quantity of water for the future depending on that in what purposes it will be used. The countries in the region must preserve the water balance and guarantees of existing regime of the watercourse of rivers.
“Each member of the Fund for saving Aral must feel the responsibility for the situation unfolding in the zone of ecological catastrophe. In this respect, the countries in the region given no interference from outside must distribute among themselves the tasks and make their own contribution to the solution of this problem and thus achieve the balance of interests of states in the region. But I would like to note that this problem has emerged several decades ago and certainly it will take time to resolve it. The International coordination water economy commission could play a considerable role in this, and we would be just glad if we could assist in bettering the work of the Commission,” Mr. Loïc Fauchon has underscored.
Mr. Fauchon has also informed that if the countries of Central Asia are interested in cooperating with the World Water Council in terms of finding the necessary solution for existing water problems, then with taking into account the world experience and practice of this organization they stand ready to attract experts for holding the relevant examinations in the interests of the Central Asian states.
“During my current visit to Uzbekistan we have agreed with the Uzbek side that perhaps in June this year we may establish the task force, which could discuss the outstanding issues of the region and prepare the certain recommendations, which might be used in addressing the disputed issues of water use in Central Asia. Besides, we will attempt to broader involve the representatives of the Central Asian countries into the global network of the World Water Council that unites over 350 organizations from 80 countries around the world,” the head of the WWC said.
Mr. Loïc Fauchon has highly praised the personal attention paid by President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov towards implementation of large projects aimed at effectively and reasonably using the water resources.
The WWC president said that he has gained an “enormous impression” of what he had seen visiting Uzbekistan, and particularly, the Ferghana Valley, and above all, seeing and talking to the people who live in this wonderful country. I am astonished to see how the Uzbek people strive towards further progress of their country.
Mr. Fauchon has also underscored that he was finely struck of seeing the water facilities in the country – the modern automated equipment, well-arranged technological process and certainly the high professionalism of people who skillfully managed the entire industry. He has believed that “the work has been quite well arranged and in such very direction, which we were just going to extend it throughout the world if we want not only survive, but also progress in the future.”