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Press release: Water: a key resource –Switzerland’s contribution to water management in Central Asia

Bern, 28.10.2008 - The Annual Conference on Switzerland’s Cooperation with Eastern Europe will take place on 7 November 2008 between 10.45am and 4.15pm in the Landhaus in Solothurn. The SDC and SECO would like to invite you to this event attended by experts from Central Asia and the international community as well as by Federal Councillors Doris Leuthard and Micheline Calmy-Rey. Interviews with participants will be possible on the day.

Water is a key resource in the development process. This is particularly true for Central Asia where water is becoming increasingly scarce. The consequences are potential conflict, rising food prices and environmental crises. Water is a focal point of the joint efforts undertaken by the SDC and SECO in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Sustainable and more efficient water management is decisive for the future of Central Asia.

At the Annual Conference on Switzerland’s Cooperation with Eastern Europe in Solothurn on 7 November, Victor Dukhovni, Director of the scientific information centre of the Interstate Coordination Water Commission in Central Asia, will explain why Central Asian states find it so difficult to agree on a regional water management system. Johannes Linn, Executive Director at the Wolfensohn Center for Development, Washington D.C., will present the causes of the looming water and energy crisis of the coming winter, and set out some of the conflict scenarios and possible solutions.

Federal Councillors Doris Leuthard and Micheline Calmy-Rey will underline the importance of cooperation with Eastern Europe in terms of Switzerland’s economic and foreign policy. Other speakers and a photo-reportage series will show the contribution made by SECO and the SDC in the areas of drinking water, energy, irrigation and water management. The fact that Switzerland also experiences problems in these areas will be demonstrated by Martin Würsten, the head of canton Solothurn’s environment agency.

There will be no press conference. However, most of the experts will be available for interviews. If you would like to attend the conference or request an interview, please register with one of the contacts below.


Address for enquiries:

Markus Spörndli, Communications Officer
Tel. +41 (0)31 324 09 10 or +41 (0)79 232 98 12

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA
Jean-Philippe Jutzi, Press Spokesman
Tel. +41 (0)31 325 51 43 or +41 (0)79 292 08 49


State Secretariat for Economic Affairs
Internet: http://www.seco.admin.ch
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Internet: http://www.eda.admin.ch/eda/en/home/recent/media.html
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