September 29, 2008

Uzbekistan Urges Reasonable Use of Water Resources in Central Asia

Uzbekistan urges reasonable use of water resources in Central Asia

UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov on Saturday called for reasonable use of water resources in Central Asia so as to prevent ecological damages to the region.

"... all of us are laid with responsibility for reasonable use of natural resources, including the transboundary rivers in Central Asia," Norov told world leaders attending the UN General Assembly's annual debate.

"The life itself inevitably proves that ignoring the certain UN Declarations and international norms on joint use of water resources of transboundary rivers may lead to very serious and at times to tragic ecological catastrophes ..." he noted.

Taking as an example, Norov mentioned the "ongoing catastrophe - - the drying up of Aral Sea with all of its unpredictable consequences for tens of millions of people that reside in the region."

Citing requirements of relevant UN conventions, the foreign minister stressed that all decisions on the use of watercourse of transboundary rivers in Central Asia must "in no way inflict damage to the ecology and infringe upon the interests" of the population of countries in the region.

The Aral Sea is an inland sea between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, which used to be the world's fourth largest lake but has shrunk to one-tenth of its original size.

(c) 2008 Xinhua News Agency - CEIS. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.