The Technical Committee on Liberalization of Foreign Trade and Economic Globalization in the Countries of the ESCWA Region was established pursuant to Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) resolution 214 (XIX) of 7 May 1997 concerning the establishment of a technical committee on the liberalization of foreign trade and economic globalization in the countries of the ESCWA region, and Economic and Social Council resolution 1997/12 of 18 July 1997 concerning the establishment of a technical committee on liberalization of foreign trade and economic globalization in the countries of the ESCWA region. The aims of establishing such a committee included: (a) to contribute to the identification of ESCWA member countries concerns and priorities with respect to multilateral trade agreements and negotiations; (b) to monitor developments in global trade negotiations and in establishing economic and trade blocs, and to coordinate the stances of Committee member countries in that regard; (c) to cooperate with the ESCWA secretariat in formulating programmes to assist the countries of the region in designing appropriate policies for economic development at the national and regional levels, with a view to extending the benefits to those countries of trends in liberalization of foreign trade and economic globalization; (d) to formulate programmes to be adopted jointly by the countries of the region, in cooperation with other regional and international organizations, for training, the exchange of expertise and research.
The Technical Committee on Liberalization of Foreign Trade and Economic Globalization in the Countries of the ESCWA region has so far held five sessions, the first in the United Arab Emirates in 1999, the second in Bahrain in 2001, the third in Oman in 2003 and the fourth and fifth in Beirut in 2005 and 2007.
It should be noted that the Committee will hold its sixth session under its new name which carries the additional phrase "financing for development", pursuant to the recommendation made by the Committee at its fifth session. It was agreed at that session to amend the Committee's name to "Technical Committee on Liberalizing Foreign Trade, Economic Globalization and Financing for Development in the Countries of the ESCWA Region". It was also recommended that the Committee should convene once every two years, should hold two separate expert group meetings during the period between Committee sessions, one of which should be dedicated to trade issues and the other to regional integration and financing for development, and that use of the new name should begin with the Committee's sixth session.
The secretariat had started including the topic of financing for development in the agenda at the Committee's fifth session once participants had approved the secretariat’s proposal at the fourth session. The recommendations made at that session and directed at the Governments of countries in the ESCWA region included the recommendation that "consultations should be held with the ministries of countries not represented on the committee on the proposal made by the ESCWA secretariat to the effect that the issue of financing for development should be included on the agenda of the Technical Committee with effect from the fifth session and once participants had approved the proposal in principle." So it was that the agendas of both the fifth and sixth sessions of the Committee contained an item on the follow-up to the implementation of the Monterey Consensus issued at the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development.