UN gathering to promote water cooperation in Central Asia kicks off

A United Nations seminar on international water cooperation opened today in Tajikistan as part of an effort to promote dialogue and strengthen cooperation between Central Asian countries over the use of water and energy resources.Organized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the two-day meeting in Dushanbe, the capital, will examine the role of international law, including the UN Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes, in boosting regional cooperation on water resources management. The seminar is being held ahead of the upcoming 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, declared by a General Assembly resolution initiated by Tajikistan.With an estimated 64 billion cubic metres of water forming annually from rainfall and melting glaciers, Tajikistan represents 55 per cent of the total water flow in the Aral Sea basin and sits at the core of the Central Asian debate surrounding the regional use and allocation of water resources.Tajikistan’s current plans to develop new hydropower stations are the central focus of the regional debate on water resources and have raised concerns among downstream countries, especially neighbouring Uzbekistan, where any cut in water could affect its economy. In April last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited Central Asia on a five-nation tour aimed at reducing tensions between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan over water resources. 14 March 2011A United Nations seminar on international water cooperation opened today in Tajikistan as part of an effort to promote dialogue and strengthen cooperation between Central Asian countries over the use of water and energy resources. read more

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UN Security Council calls for end to political violence in Haiti

Video of Council President reading statement Condemning the recent deadly clashes in Haiti, members of the United Nations Security Council today called on the government and opposition to restore confidence and dialogue, overcoming their differences peacefully and democratically through constitutional means. “Members of the Security Council expressed their deep concern over the increasing violence and political crisis in Haiti leading the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, including the loss of many lives,” the Council President for February, Ambassador Wang Guangya of China, told journalists. The members commended the work of a team dispatched to the country by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and expressed support for the peacemaking efforts of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS). The UN humanitarian mission has been in Haiti since Sunday to assess how best to respond to the violence that has gripped the country in recent weeks. Dozens of people have been killed during clashes between opponents and supporters of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. read more

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