Economic Cooperation Organization

ECO Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Huseyin Avni Bicakli, participated in the 21st Session of the Committee to Review the Implementation of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC), which took place in Samarkand from November 13 to 17, 2023.

Approximately 500 delegates from 196 countries and the European Union, representatives of civil society and scientific circles participated in the event to analyze the progress in achieving the strategic goals of the Convention. For the first time since the signing of the UNCCD, one of its most significant meetings was held in Central Asia.

The participants discussed progress and provided recommendations for achieving global goals on preventing land degradation in accordance with the UNCCD Strategy for 2018-2030. The opening of the event featured a welcome speech by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Also in the first Plenary Session, opening statements were made by the Chairperson of CRIC 21, the Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw, the Minister of Ecology, Environmental Protection, and Climate Change of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mr. Aziz Abdukhakimov, and the Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ms. Tanzilla Narbaeva.

In the part of Observers’ statements & interventions the ECO Deputy Secretary General delivered a speech highlighting priorities of ECO Region on combatting land degradation and desertification. Revealing the key objectives of the Organization’s environmental profile, ECO Deputy Secretary General emphasized significance of tackling main aspects of land degradation and dust & sand storms in the region as one of the gravest challenges causing serious incremental impact in economic and ecological situation in the member states. He also called for international community to increase efforts for active partnership to address challenges of land degradation in the region. Dr. Bicakli encouraged audience to cooperate with ECO particularly in its flagship project “ECO LANDCARE PROGRAM”. He further stressed that ECO has always been committed to work for implementation and achievement of the SDGs and would remain ever-receptive and ready to make activities in its relevant areas of cooperation with the neighboring nations, interested countries as well as relevant regional/international organizations.

Within conference sidelines, Dr.Bicakli exchanged views and discussed partnership opportunities in environmental cooperation with high dignitaries of participating states and international organizations.