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Interstate Commission for Water Coordination of Central Asia

In the world history, the Aral Sea basin is among the most ancient centers of civilization.

Amudarya and Syrdarya — two main rivers in the basin, water resources of which are allocated to arid lands irrigation and the Aral Sea with their tributaries Vakhsh, Pyandj, Surkhandarya, Kafirnigan, Zerafshan, Naryn, Chirchik, Karadarya and others form a large water system, which is included in water-resources scheme of the Aral Sea basin.

Aral Sea basin

Five independent states of CIS — the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan — and part of Afghanistan are entirely and partly situated on the territory of the basin.

After collapse of the Soviet Union, to prevent arising of conflicts and serious complications in water resources management and to put water allocation, limitation and account in order, the Ministers of five Central Asian independent states (N. Kipshakbayev, V. Melnichenko, A. Nurov, À. Ilamanov, R. Giniyatullin) in consequence of negotiations, meetings and discussions adopted at the conference in Tashkent on October 10-12, 1991 the Statement, in which, based on historical community of Central Asian peoples, their equal rights and responsibility for ensuring rational water resources use in the region, and taking natural and economic conditions into account, they recognized that only joint actions in coordination and management can help to effectively solve the region's water problems in a context of increasing ecological and social tension.

On February 18, 1992 five Ministers of Water Resources of Central Asian states (N. Kipshakbayev, M. Zulpuyev, A. Nurov, À. Ilamanov, R. Giniyatullin) signed in Almaty “Agreement on cooperation in joint management, use and protection of interstate sources of water resources”. Actually, this agreement founded a united body Interstate Coordination Water Commission (ICWC). This Agreement was confirmed by the Decision of the Presidents, Kzyl-Orda, March 26, 1993 and their “Agreement on joint actions on resolving the problems related to the Aral Sea and its coastal zone on environmental sanitation and social-economic development in the Aral Sea region”, and later by Agreement of the region's five countries of April 9, 1999 “On status of IFAS and its organizations”.

The Interstate Commission for Water Coordination (ICWC) is a parity collective body of Central Asian States acting on the basis of equity, equality and consensus. According to the Decision by the Heads of State of March 23, 1993, ICWC was included in the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) and has the status of an international organization.