VIENNA, 17 September 1998 - The environmental problems the Central Asian states face today not only represent a threat to the health and safety of people in the entire region, but also have a negative impact on the development of the Central Asian economies and democratic institutions. These problems cannot be resolved without a co-operative approach. Water- and energy management, the Aral Sea disaster, the threat of transborder nuclear pollution due to unsafe nuclear power stations or tailing dumps should all be discussed in a regional framework, and can only be resolved through close co-operation among Central Asian governments.
In order to discuss these problems with high-level government officials of the Central Asian states, a wide variety of NGOs, representatives of the private sector, international organizations, and other interested OSCE Participating States, the OSCE, in co-operation with the Uzbek government, will hold a Seminar on "Regional Environmental Problems and Co-operative Approaches to Solving Them" in Tashkent, Uzbekistan from 22 to 24 September.
Special attention will be paid to the potential economic threats and security risks resulting from a continued deterioration of the environmental situation in Central Asia.
Recalling the necessity of ensuring environment-friendly economic development as agreed upon by the OSCE Participating States in the Bonn Document, this seminar will also serve as part of our collective preparations for the next Economic Forum of the OSCE.