The Government of Uzbekistan, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) recently hosted International Partnership Week "New Uzbekistan: Progress, Innovation, and Enlightenment". As part of the program Kawa Baha was invited to join an esteemed panel discussion titled ‘The Need to Save Water Resources is the Requirement of Time’.

Tashkent 04-08 July 2023


The primary objective of the forum was to engage in an in-depth discussion on achieving the Global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a significant emphasis on Food Security and Water Supply in Uzbekistan and Central Asia. Moderated by the Courtney Fingar, Former Editor-in-chief of Financial Times FDI Magazine the panel included:

  • Shavkat Khamrayev, Minister of Water Resources of the Republic of Uzbekistan
  • Andrash Fedoseyev, CEO of Art Work Design Kft
  • Kawa Baha, Executive Director of SMEC, Central Asia
  • Abdulhamid Azad, Water Resources Management Specialist, World Bank

The panel discussion focused on the importance of water resources for sustainable development and the need to take urgent action to save water. The panellists discussed the challenges facing water resources in Uzbekistan, including climate change, population growth, and pollution.


Kawa shared insights into solutions currently being implemented by SMEC and our partners to mitigate these challenges. Projects such as Climate Adaptative Water Resources Management in the Aral Sea Basin will play a critical role in improving water infrastructure whilst building management capacity to enable governments and institutions to manage water conservation more effectively.


Reflecting on the event Kawa commented,


“During this impactful discussion, we underscored the immense value of cross-sector collaboration and the exchange of innovative ideas to tackle some of the globe’s most critical challenges. By pooling together our experiences, technological breakthroughs, and novel approaches, we aim to construct robust and resilient systems that promote sustainable water and food security within the region.”


The event was attended by over 1,000 participants from over 50 countries resulting in several bilateral agreements between Uzbekistan and other countries. As part of the event the UNDP announced the establishment of a new office in Uzbekistan, the launch of a new UNDP-supported program on innovation and entrepreneurship.