Main governing body of ESCWA
Held every two years, the Ministerial Session is the main governing body of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Ministers and high-level member State officials from across the region convene to discuss the activities of the Secretariat, its future work programme, and key economic and social development issues facing the region.
The 30th Ministerial Session of ESCWA is being held from 25 to 28 June 2018 in Beirut, Lebanon, with a focus on “technology for sustainable development in the Arab region.” The session will comprise two segments: the senior officials segment (25-26 June), and the ministerial segment (27-28 June).
“Technology for sustainable development in the Arab region”
Technology for sustainable and inclusive development can be defined as the knowledge to achieve practical social, economic and environmental objectives that satisfy the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Particularly since the industrial revolutions, technology has acquired an important role in everyday life.
New and emerging technologies are shaping the world as we know it today with leapfrog progress in smart phones, 3D printing, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, online education, digital economy, renewable and efficient energy sources, water management and irrigation, food production, smart cities, biotechnology and other “frontier technologies.”
With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, countries identified technology as essential for eradicating poverty, growing the economy and protecting the environment, with the goal of “leaving no one behind.” To achieve this, ESCWA has been calling to ensure that productivity gains from technology are balanced with fair distribution of growth and inclusive participation at all levels.
The Ministerial Session will serve as a platform to discuss critical actions required from governments, the private sector and civil society in Arab countries in response to the exponential frontier or disruptive technologies sweeping the world. The goal is to maximize the benefits for sustainable development and lower risks of abuse and possible negative impact, working with governments in the Arab region.
The biennial event will feature three moderated roundtables to generate discussions with policymakers, civil society leaders, as well as representatives from the private sector, academia and youth. These will address:
- Integrating technology and innovation into national development planning;
- The role of technology in tackling the challenges of the Arab region;
- Frontier technologies: opportunities, challenges and the way forward;
The outcome of the Ministerial Session will be a declaration on the main theme of discussions and is expected to set and renew commitments towards achieving crucial development goals in the Arab region.
- RESOLUTIONS AND OUTCOME DOCUMENT ADOPTED AT THE THIRTIETH SESSION OF ESCWA
- REPORT OF THE THIRTIETH SESSION