On the 17th - 18th of November 2005, the Government of Armenia hosted a conference of Ministers of Economy/Finance, Environment and Water. Ministers met to discuss how to address the critical situation of the water sector in EECCA countries, particularly how to finance much-needed improvements. The meeting examined progress in light of a set of guiding principles they had adopted at an earlier meeting in Almaty in 2000. Documentation prepared for the meeting suggested that while there had been some progress, overall the situation remained critical and that on present trends the water-related MDGs would not be met. Discussions focused on key financing options and how to implement change at the local level. Other issues were also addressed: how far can user charges be increased without running into affordability problems? Public money will be essential, but what can be done to ensure that it is used effectively? How can local authorities and water utilities function more efficiently? Is there a role for the private sector?
Information on two events that were preceding the Ministerial conference can be accessed here:
Various side events were organised on the margins on the Conference (please see the Overview of the Week's Events). At one of them, on the 17th November, UK Environment Minister Elliot Morley launched internationally Partners for Environmental Cooperation in Europe (PECE), a UK initiative bringing together public sector, private sector and interest groups to establish project partnerships which will provide practical, on-the-ground help and promote sustainable development in the EECCA region. For more information, please read the news release.
Presentations and Speeches: