Water relations in Central Asia take a significant step forward today with the inauguration of the United Nations-supported Chu-Talas Rivers Commission involving Kazakhstan and landlocked Kyrgyzstan, with the world body saying the agreement provides a model for cooperation for other trans-boundary river basins in the region.
As part of the bilateral deal, Kazakhstan has agreed to pay part of the operating and maintenance expenses for a number of Kyrgyz dams and reservoirs supplying water to both countries, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) said in a press release.
“The Chu-Talas River Commission is an eloquent symbol of the spirit of cooperation to address trans-boundary issues of common concern. It lays the foundation for future cooperation in achieving more sustainable growth in these two countries and in Central Asia,” said Kim Hak-Su, UNESCAP Executive Secretary.
The setting up of the Commission, inaugurated in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, is supported by a joint project implemented by UNESCAP and the Geneva-based UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), along with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
UNECE Executive Secretary Marek Belka congratulated Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan for their constructive collaboration, noting in a statement that they set an example for future water relations in Central Asia.