GWP CACENA Regional Council Meeting -
Water Partnership of Caucasus and Central Asia
23-25 December 2013, Tbilisi, Georgia (Hotel Irmeni)
Present (quorum of 100%): RC members - Arevik Hovsepyan (Armenia), Mamed Asadov (Azerbaijan), Nino Chkhobadze (Georgia), Nariman Kipshakbayev (Kazakhstan), Abdybay Djailoobaev (Kyrgyzstan), Davlat Siltonmamadov (Tajikistan), Guljamal Nurmuhamedova (Turkmenistan), Yusup Kamalov (Uzbekistan) - Chairman. Regional Secretariat - Vadim Sokolov and Ilkhom Babaev. Invited guests: Eduard Mesropyan (Armenia) and George Dzamukashvili (Georgia).
Following the discussion of all the meeting agenda items agreed by the members of the GWP CACENA Regional Council, there were decided the followings:
1. On joining the Country Water Partnership of Mongolia into GWP CACENA network
Based on the information of the GWP CACENA Regional Coordinator Mr. Sokolov on the results of the joint working visit with the GWPO Network Officer Ms. Natalia Alexeeva to Mongolia on 12-14 December 2013, as well as letter-application of the Country Water Partnership - Mongolia, the members of the Regional Council unanimously approved the joining of Mongolia into the Regional GWP CACENA network starting from January 1, 2014.
Regional Secretariat (Sokolov) has promptly to inform CWP-Mongolia on decision and take the necessary measures to harmonize the list of CWP-Mongolia members and contacts; to establish links between Secretariat and CWP (contact person); to agree on the CWP-Mongolia representative in the Regional Council; send to CWP-Mongolia the corrected 2014 Work Plan and Budget, as well as the calendar of events for 2014 and any other relevant issues.
Members of the Regional Council also discussed the further development potential of GWP CACENA network and unanimously reaffirmed their COMMITMENT TO THE UNITY OF INTERESTS within the Regional CACENA Water Partnership Network. All relationships and collaborations with neighboring countries, sub- regions and networks in Europe and Asia should be built on the basis of these common interests and joint capacity, and should be treated as inter-regional. Members of the Regional Council entrusted the Regional Secretariat (Mr. Sokolov V.) to inform the GWPO headquarters in Stockholm on the interest of Iran to join the GWP CACENA network - as a number of countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia have already the long-term relationships and joint programs on water-related problems with Iran.
2. On the GWP CACENA regional work program and budget for 2014.
Based on the outcomes of the Regional Council meeting held in Moscow on November 7, 2013, and with the consideration of the Work Plan and Budget modified due to the entry of Mongolia into the network, the Regional Council Members unanimously agreed the final version of the work plan and budget for 2014 .
GWP CACENA budget for 2014 is: basic (GWPO) = 220,000 Euros, Climate Change Adaptation Program = 414,390 Euro, funds attracted by the countries = 68,100 Euros.
The Regional Secretariat (Sokolov and Babaev) notified the Regional Council members about the need and importance to conduct financial audit at the national level - by the end of 2013 and in 2014. Members of the Regional Council take personal control of audit by all Country Water Partnerships of the financial network activities within the GWP CACENA work program and budget with the involvement of local audit firms.
3. Agreement on the GWP CACENA Calendar of Events for 2014
Members of the Regional Council unanimously agreed on the GWP CACENA calendar of events for 2014.
The calendar should focus on three key activities at the regional level:
It is planned to organize a regional seminar on basin aspects of IWRM in Mongolia in July. To request CWP-Mongolia together with the Regional Secretariat (Sokolov) to make all necessary arrangements for the seminar (seminar program, visa issues, logistics, etc).
Within the regional process GWP CACENA in cooperation with the other national and regional organizations is planning to hold a preparatory conference towards the 7th World Water Forum in Korea. Preliminarily agreed - if the necessary funds are mobilized (GWPO - Stockholm) and in consultation with all countries of the region – to hold a conference in September 2014 in Turkmenistan. Request the Chairman of GWP CACENA (Chkhobadze) together with the Regional Secretariat (Sokolov) to carry out all necessary consultations with GWPO headquarters and countries and for the organization of this conference.
Members of the Regional Council unanimously agreed on the need prepare and publish the regional publication “GWP CACENA Contribution to the development of water security in the region” for this conference on behalf of GWP CACENA. Regional Secretariat (Sokolov) to mobilize a group of experts from all countries of the region to prepare this publication and provide the necessary funding under the budget line (2.1.2).
On the basis of the demonstration projects under the Climate Change Adaptation Program the outcome of these studies will be prepared by fall 2014. On the proposal of CWP-Armenia it is planned to conduct regional workshop in Armenia in October where the results of the demonstration works will be presented, as well as the official completion ceremony of the facility built with the project assistance in the village Paraqar will take place. To request CWP-Armenia jointly with the Regional Secretariat (Sokolov) to make all necessary arrangements for the seminar (seminar program, logistics, etc.).
4. Climate Change Adaptation Program for the period 2013-2015 (funded by GWPO).
Members of the Regional Council were briefed by the Regional Secretariat (Sokolov) and Climate Change Adaptation Project Manager (Djailoobaev) on the scope of work, expected results and indicators and the organization of project works.
Members of the Regional Council unanimously confirmed the program scope of work and budget for 2014 within the project on climate change adaptation (budget is 414,390 Euros). During January - March 2014 to provide visits of the project manager (Djailoobaev) to all project demonstration sites and to discuss the progress of work with national teams and their coordinators.
5. Organizational issues:
Regional Council members discussed the importance of strengthening the GWP CACENA "political" authority and influence at national, regional and global levels. This is important in terms of efficiency and practicability of the Regional Water Partnership network performance results. On the other hand, it will allow attracting more funds for the expansion and intensification of the network partnership activities in promoting IWRM principles into practice. In this aspect, the role of the Regional Council and its Chairman is of paramount importance.
Given the expiration of the three-year term of office of the GWP CACENA Chairman Yusup Kamalov, members of the Regional Council thanked him for the good leadership and discussed possible candidates for this prestigious post for a new term.
Taking into consideration the importance of this position, the members of the Regional Council by vote elected Nino Chkhobadze as GWP CACENA Chairman - as a person who has political experience as a Minister in the Government of Georgia and has real authority with decision-makers in the water sector in all countries in the region. Voting results - six "for" and one "against" (the voice of Georgia in this poll is not taken into account). The representative of Kazakhstan, prof. Kipshakbayev voted “against”. He expressed a special opinion on the Chkhobadze candidacy, considering that in the past (2007-2010) she performed poor as a Chairman. Given this special opinion, the members of the Regional Council decided that the term of office of Nino Chkhobadze will be one year (2014). During 2014 consultations should take place and new candidates should be proposed who meet the requirements and have political authority in the region.
Members of the Regional Council discussed the effectiveness of the Regional Secretariat in 2013 and unanimously noted the positive growth of the efficiency and quality of GWP CACENA network management. Members of the Regional Council unanimously confirmed the high quality of cooperation with the host institution - IWMI, an agreement with which will be valid for two more years (Host Institute Agreement - for the period 2013-2015). At the moment there is no real need to look for an alternative host institute.
Members of the Regional Council decided that the next meeting of the Council will be held at a regional workshop in Mongolia in July 2014.
Members of the Regional Council thanked CWP-Georgia and the Regional Secretariat for the excellent organization of the meeting in Tbilisi and noted the warm hospitality of the Georgian partners.
Members of the Regional Council wishes all GWP CACENA partners a Happy New Year and wishes for the further progress in the partnership development for dissemination of IWRM principles in the region in 2014.
GWP CACENA Regional Council meeting,
Tbilisi, December 2013
New GWP CACENA Chairman
Nino Chkhobadze and Regional
Coordinator Vadim Sokolov,
Tbilisi, December 2013
Excursion to Signaghi museum town
in Kakheti (UNESCO World Heritage)