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|10ASTANA270||2010-02-26 08:05||2011-08-30 01:44||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Astana|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 ASTANA 000270 SIPDIS STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD, OES, OES/S E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: ECON PGOV SENV SOCI TSPL KPAO KZ SUBJECT: KAZAKHSTAN: SECOND PREPARATION MEETING FOR THE 2010 SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE REF: 09 Astana 02139 ASTANA 00000270 001.3 OF 002 ¶1. SUMMARY: Astana hosted the Second Advisory Council Meeting in Preparation for the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development (MCED) to be held in Astana in 2010. This year's MCED will focus on "green growth." The meeting presented the MCED's projected schedule, which will include senior official meetings, ministerial meetings, side events and exhibitions. The organizers want to include business and NGOs as partners and participants. The MCED will have a dedicated website for interested parties to register online after April 15. END SUMMARY. SECOND ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETING ¶2. The Kazakhstan Ministry of Environment, along with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Central Asian Regional Environmental Center (CAREC), hosted the Second Advisory Council Meeting on Preparation for the Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development (MCED) to be held in Astana in 2010. This meeting follows the First Advisory Council Meeting, which took place in Astana on November 24, 2009 (see reftel). Ministry of Environmental Protection Department of Legal Policy and International Cooperation Director Alexander Bragin opened the Council meeting by saying that the Central Asia region is in a uniquely geopolitical position to further advance the process of European and Asian Pacific integration. Kazakhstan, as Chairman-in-Office of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in 2010, has particular responsibility to promote sustainable economic development. He said the MCED coincides with Kazakhstan's own plans to achieve sustainable development. Kazakhstan has already prepared allocated funds for the MCED and several parallel activities, and is fully committed to ensuring that the MCED will be a success. Bragin said Kazakhstan's business community has also made a sizeable commitment, with the top 40 enterprises collectively investing $1.2 billion toward sustainable development last year. MCED SCHEDULE OUTLINE ¶3. ESCAP Environment and Development Division Director Li Shaoyi reminded attendees that the MCED has met every five years since ¶1985. The MCED serves as a forum for all 62 member countries to review the status and trends of each member state's environment and economic development, assess progress, opportunities, and challenges in implementing their prior commitments, identify additional priorities, and formulate future agendas. ¶4. Li said this year's MCED objectives are to secure a commitment to sustainable development, assess progress to date, reduce existing gaps in implementing commitments, define the priorities and areas for cooperation, and focus on promoting "green growth." He said sustainable development is the primary development strategy for the Asia and Pacific region, along with the sustainable use of resources, low carbon development, and a sustainable urban development strategy. He stressed the latter, noting that many Asian cities have strained and overcrowded urban environments and uncontrolled growth. ¶5. Li outlined the MCED September 27-October 2 draft schedule, with the first three days for the Senior Official Segment, the last two days for the Ministerial Segment, and a day off in between. The Senior Segment will deliberate policy and review and approve documents, and the Ministerial Segment will have ministerial statements and reports and the adoption of Senior Officials' reports. In addition, there will be side events and a roundtable on environmental protection and economic development. MCED INVOLVES GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS, AND CIVIL SOCIETY ¶6. Central Asian Regional Environmental Center (CAREC) Executive Director Talaybek Makaev said the MCED will include an inter-sector dialogue on green growth between government, business, and civil society. It will have exhibitions and expositions as side events ASTANA 00000270 002.3 OF 002 running concurrently. Themes will include "green and competitive," global and local (GloCal) green growth, sustainable ecological systems, green infrastructure, green decision-making, and civil society and green growth. The MCED will also include a day of excursions and an evening reception for all representatives. There will be a su stained media campaign to highlight the event and broadcast it to the public. ¶7. CAREC's Program Manager Gulzhamal Issayeva presented MCED's new website, located at http://www.mced6.org, which will become active on March 15 in English and Russian. Interested parties can register online for the MCED after April 15. It will contain MCED publications from the conference and other relevant information. ¶8. COMMENT: It is important that Astana will host the next MCED in 2010, not only because it is the first time for a Central Asian country, but also because it highlights UN, OSCE, and European thoughts on Kazakhstan's rising status and leading role in Central Asia. Coinciding with Kazakhstan's 2010 Chairmanship of the OSCE, it enhances its image as a country actively promoting sustainable development. The United States is a member of MCED and will most likely send a delegation to Astana for the event. END COMMENT. HOAGLAND