The Regional Consultation meeting is organized by ESCWA and the Islamic Development Bank as a follow-up to the IDB consultative forum with Regional Cooperation Organisations (RCO), held in Jeddah on 14-15 May 2017. It brought together experts from the United Nations System, the League of Arab States (LAS), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU), the Maghreb Bank for Investment and External Trade (BMICE), the OPEC Fund for Development, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the Arab Planning Institute, and other regional financial institutions and development banks.
The Regional Consultation’s overall objective is to identify priority actions and joint initiatives that promote regional connectivity and that can be pursued in the future by the participants.
More specifically, the meeting focused on:
• The review of the present status of some networks in the Arab region (transport, electricity and energy), and the potential benefits from their inter-connectivity and integration into corridors for vital connectivity that might bolster inclusive economic and social development at the level of the Arab region.
• The obstacles preventing the inter-connectivity and the integration of Arab networks, and the ways to overcome these obstacles considering lessons learned from successful cases of connectivity worldwide.
• The benefits of the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool supporting the analysis of the operation of different networks and to reveal the potential advantages of the inter-connectivity and integration of the networks.
• Possible innovative solutions to neutralize the corridors of vital connectivity from the effects of conflicts and political disputes between Arab countries, and to promote these corridors as triggers of stability and peace contributing to the prevention of future conflicts.