The 7th EU-Central Asia High-Level Conference opened today at the Farnesina, as co-chaired by the Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Edmondo Cirielli, and the European Special Representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Terhi Hakala.
The High-Level Conference is part of the EU-Central Asia Platform for Cooperation on Environment and Water Resources, which was established in Rome in 2009 with Italy as the lead country through the coordination of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security. The Platform seeks to strengthen the political dialogue on sustainable development with Central Asian countries and facilitate their cooperation with the EU; it also strives to bring them closer to European environmental and climate change legislation by strengthening the capacities of national ministries and promoting green investments, with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in pollution, including CO2 emissions.
The Conference is attended by high-level delegations from countries in the region (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), EU Member States, the European Commission and other European and international institutions.
After recalling Italy’s historical central role in the development of relations between Europe and Central Asia, Deputy Minister Cirielli highlighted that the latter “can play a key role in connectivity as well as in global energy and food security” thanks to its being a strategic crossroads in a global context characterised by strong instability. According to Deputy Minister Cirielli, the conference, which will end tomorrow, “has the ambitious goal of accelerating the green transition in the region as well as achieving sustainability goals through an inclusive approach including institutional actors and civil society.” The Deputy Minister concluded by saying that “this is an objective with respect to which Italy intends to continue to play a bridging role between the EU and Central Asia.”