You are here: Home Before Aral Sea Disappears, Secretary-General, in Video Message, Calls for Boosting Global Response to Tragic ‘Disaster’
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon’s video message to the International Conference on the Implementation of Regional Projects in the Aral Sea Basin, held 28-29 October in Urgench, Uzbekistan:
Your Excellency, Mr. Islam A. Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, distinguished participants, I am pleased to send greetings to this important Forum. I thank Uzbekistan for hosting. I vividly remember my visit to the Aral Sea in 2010. I was horrified by the sight of so much desert where water used to flow.
Today, the Aral Sea is on the verge of disappearing entirely. This loss would affect millions of people in Uzbekistan and beyond. The root of the problem is poor water management. We need to respond through more efficient local water use. And we need national and regional cooperation to manage transboundary waters fairly.
The United Nations supports the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. Many United Nations agencies, including our Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, are working together to improve livelihoods, boost development and reduce health and environmental risks in the most affected areas. I hope donors will support these efforts.
No single country can respond to the Aral Sea tragedy. I call for intensifying the international response to this disaster, and I wish your meeting great success.
October 31, 2014