Water Resource Expert Bahrom Gaffarov, who took an active part in the 6th Water Water Forum held on March 12-17 in Marseilles, France, has denied the “World Water Forum supports Uzbekistan’s position on Rogun project” news report issued by Uzbekistan’s Ecology Movement on April 18 and published on Regnum website. In his interview with AP B.Gaffarov said that “such kind of reports are non-professional.”
First of all, the World Water Forum is just a global social event and its goal is to increase awareness about global water processes, he said. “The Forum itself is not a political event while its final documents do not bear any legal responsibilities. The Forum is a platform where citizens and global policy and decision-making communities gather to discuss various problems. It would be quite undiplomatic to give support to any of such positions. Furthermore, it is not pragmatic and is impossible in the context of modern globalization,” he explained.
Secondly, only two sessions were dedicated to Central Asia regional problems – a thematic session held on March 15th and a high-level roundtable on March 13th, which was co-chaired by Tajikistan apart from the United States and Zimbabwe. In his report to the forum Tajik Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Resources said that in the conditions of disagreement between upstream and downstream countries on the use of water resources, regional effect and sustainable development can be achieved by just taking into account the interests of each country, reaching appropriate compromises and decision making. He also said that Tajikistan is open for any dialogue and cooperation on water resource management.
“Uzbek delegates presented their three-minute long report to the roundtable which has never been reflected in the forum’s final documents,” Gaffarov said, stressing that the event was widely highlighted in the press.
Recently Regnum published a news report entitled “World Water Forum supports Uzbekistan’s position on Rogun project” citing Uzbekistan’s Ecology Movement as source. The report says that the 6th World Water Forum supported Uzbekistan’s position on Rogun hydropower plant.
According to the report, Uzbek delegates suggested to add the following priorities for the use of transboundary water resources: first of all, drinking water; secondly – water for food production; thirdly – water for health and sanitary conditions; fifth – water to support energy systems; sixth – for industrial purposes and energy production; to the final document of the forum – Ministerial Declaration.
“To make it clear for understanding and to prove that the report is incorrect it is enough to look through the Forum’s Declaration which is available at the Forum’s website at
( www.worldwaterforum6.org ) in Russian language”, Gaffarov has said, adding that the given document urges competent bodies, including basin organizations, to use reliable, fair and sustainable intersectoral framework models of cooperation when trying to settle such problems.
“Water resources and energy are closely connected since water is one of major elements for energy production and production processes. Energy is needed to produce and distribute water resources, sanitary and sewer systems. That is why we should use complex approach for water resource management and harmonize it with natural water cycles to develop rational and effective use of water resources and energy to satisfy universal need in these resources with focus on resolution of issues of economic growth and poverty alleviation – this is a fragment taken from the Ministerial Declaration, which stresses the importance of correlation between water and energy, which is also applicable for Central Asia countries,” Gaffarov said.
Unfortunately, he added, incorrect reports and information sometimes aggravate relations between countries on water and energy resource management issues.