A crowd of Arab ministers and experts have agreed on the importance of ESCWA continuing to support National Women’s Machineries in order to estimate the economic cost of violence against women in the Arab region and to implement the Action Plan for Gender Equality in line with the specificities of States. They also stressed the need to continue to support the capacity building of the Arab States to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Stated in the “Beirut Declaration”, these steps were taken by the participants in the 8th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Women held in Beirut from 4 to 5 October 2017 at the United Nations House, Riad El Solh Square, Beirut.
The ministerial personalities who came to ESCWA represented Lebanon, Palestine, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman, Sudan, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Tunisia, Mauritania, Syria, Morocco and Yemen. They have decided to review national policies and strategies to include gender equality, women's issues, peace and security and research at the national level to estimate the economic cost of violence against women and to encourage policy makers to take appropriate actions to intensify efforts in the prevention and protection of women against violence.
The opening ceremony of the Session saw statements by United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCWA Mohamed Ali Al-Hakim, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Social Development in Oman Yahya bin Bader Al-Mawali in his capacity as the representative of the State, which chaired the 7th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Women, and by Lebanese Minister of State for Women’s Affairs Jean Ogasappian. Following the opening ceremony, the agenda of the Session was adopted, and Palestine, represented by Minister of Women’s Affairs Hayfa Al Agha, chaired the 8th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Women while Oman, represented by Al-Mawaly, assumed the functions of First Deputy Chairperson; Qatar, represented by Mr. Mohammad Ahemed Al Saadi of Qatari Foundation for Social Work, the functions of Second Deputy Chairperson; and Kuwait, represented by Ms. Badriyeh Jaber Ministry of Education Coordinator at the Women’s Committee and the Council of Ministers, the functions of Rapporteur.
The 8th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Women was marked this year by three round tables on Mainstreaming Gender Equality in Public Institutions; the Role of Institutions in Times of Peace and War; and the Economic Cost of Violence against Women in which participated ministerial and media personalities, as well as figures representing UN organizations and civil society institutions.
The 8th Session of the ESCWA Committee on Women was attended by representatives of governments, national women machineries, ministries, councils, governmental organizations and women's committees in ESCWA member States. Representatives of Arab States that are not members of ESCWA, the League of Arab States (LAS), UN programmes, specialized agencies and relevant civil society organizations with consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations also participated as observers.
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