The Second Meeting of the Commission on Cooperation between the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan was held in the Aral District of Kyzylorda Region.
The Meeting was held as a follow-up to the agreements between the parliamentarians of the two countries achieved also during the official visit of the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan Maulen Ashimbayev to the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The key objective of the Meeting is to strengthen cooperation between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to address issues related to the Aral Sea restoration and protection of its ecosystem, as well as to implement joint educational projects in the field of science and ecology.
The session was opened by the Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev. He emphasized that today Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have reached a new level of cooperation in the history of relations between the two brotherly peoples, and expressed hope that this will contribute to solving the problems of the Aral Sea, which is important for both countries.
"The Heads of our states on a regular basis emphasize the importance and urgency of solving the problem of the Aral region, as well as the rational use of transboundary water resources. Once unique water body Aral today is a huge environmental problem and a challenge for the Aral Sea region states. At the same time it is an opportunity for cooperation and application of advanced experience and technologies for its revival", - said Maulen Ashimbayev.
At the same time Maulen Ashimbayev noted the positive experience in solving a number of problems related to the Aral Sea. The Speaker of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan highlighted the importance of the implementation of the first phase of the project "Regulation of the Syrdarya River Channel and Preservation of the Northern Part of the Aral Sea" funded by the World Bank and the Government of Kazakhstan. Today, in order to maintain the sea level, we need to move to implementation of the second phase of this project, which includes a large set of new tasks, stressed the Chairman of the Chamber.
He also noted that while supporting joint efforts to restore the Aral Sea area, it is important to make maximum use of the platform of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. In addition, it is necessary to find a mutually beneficial and optimal order of joint management of water resources of transboundary rivers that form the ecosystem of the region.
Separately, the Speaker of the Senate dwelled on several directions of further cooperation between the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan and the Senate of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan in solving the problems of the Aral Sea region
"First of all, it is a close interaction on the Aral problem with the state bodies to solve the current problems. The work in this direction is already underway. In addition, it is important to use the tool of parliamentary control over the implementation of the plans. The deputy corps could also provide the necessary legislative support for initiatives on the Aral Sea and the region's development. We could actively promote these issues together at international platforms. In general we have the capacity and resources to work together effectively" - said Maulen Ashimbayev.
The event was moderated by Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Kazakhstan, Co-Chairman of the Kazakhstani part of the Commission Askar Shakirov. The Uzbek delegation was headed by the First Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Uzbekistan, Co-Chairman of the Uzbek part of the Commission Sodyk Safoev.
During the meeting, the parliamentarians also had a fly-around of the Aral Sea region and visited the Kokaral Dam, where the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources informed about the current hydrological situation and the prospects of its development.
Members of the Kazakhstani government and representatives of international organizations also took part in the event, along with senators from both countries. These included Yakup Berish, Permanent Representative of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kazakhstan, and Caroline Clarinval, WHO Representative to Kazakhstan, who expressed interest in providing support on the above issues.
(Senate Press Service, 74-72-27. Photo by E.Ukibaev)