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Wednesday, 2003, October 1
www.asiaplus.tajnet.com/n/w/1.htm Asia Plus

Tajik President addressing International Freshwater Forum has urged to focus efforts on appropriate tasks.
DUSHANBE, September 1, Asia-Plus - 'The main task is in focusing efforts of all countries and directing them to an appropriate turn', Tajik President Emomali formulated the task faced by participants at the Forum.

President Rahmonov addressing International Freshwater Forum that opened in Dushanbe on Saturday, August 30, noted that lately, politicians, statesmen, and scientists have expressed serious concern over increasing problem of fresh water. 'At present, four from each ten persons on the Planet are living in basins of rivers where a shortage of water is to be observed', continued President Rahmonov, 'Clean water, which can be used by human being, according to data from the Institute for World Resources, constitutes only 1 percent of all water reserves of the Planet'. According to President Rahmonov, Tajikistan being the source of over 60 percent of the water resources of Central Asia cannot be indifferent to global problems of shortage of fresh water. 'We cannot be indifferent to the fact that at least 5 million people die of water-born diseases annually', Rahmonov stated.

Leader of Tajikistan called on the Forum's participants to analyze deeply what can be done for implementing goals of international community to have reduced twice by 2015 a number of people having no access to fresh water and adequate sanitary.

On problems of use of water resources in the Central Asian region, Tajik President picked out two problems - mitigation of the Lake Sarez risk and the problems of the Aral Sea. 'Shortage of water must not become a cause for discord but must become a uniting factor,' Rahmonov stated. For many years, scientists have been concerned that the earthen dam created by the landslide could break, sending the water from the 75-kilometer-long lake into populated areas and ultimately into the Amu Darya, with catastrophic results for not only Tajikistan, but also for Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Some 5 million people live in the area that could be affected.

Emomali Rahmonov also outlined four priorities and main directions on which efforts to be focused: 1) heightening role of youth in solving water problems; 2) enhancing state of ecological systems; 3) strengthening role of women in management of water recourses and 4) cooperation on international water-distribution. Rahmonov reaffirmed proposal on declaring 2005-2015 International Decade of Freshwater.

After speeches of welcome, participants at the Forum set to discussion of issues put on the Forum's agenda. As it had been reported earlier participants at the Forum are working in various sections. Today, a final plenary session of the Forum will be held. The session is expected to adopt a final document - 'Dushanbe Water Appeal'. On August 30, an exhibition formally titled 'World of Water' was organized within the framework of the Forum. On results of each day of work the Forum's information center is hosting news conferences with participation of individual statesmen and public figures.

We would recall that delegates from 53 countries as well as representatives from 91 international organizations including the United Nations, the Aga Khan Development Network, the World Bank and others, and known scientists are taking part in the Forum's work. About 250 journalists are covering International Freshwater Forum in Dushanbe.

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