ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Nadim Khoury stressed that the League of Arab States (LAS) and ESCWA are longtime partners in development in the region, adding that since its establishment, the Commission has viewed its partnership with LAS as a critical component in its regional role, both by mandate and in practice. Representing ESCWA at the annual UN-LAS Cooperation Meeting that was held on 10-12 July 2012 at the UN Office in Vienna, Khoury delivered a statement saying that Khalaf placed partnership with LAS in the front and centre of the organizationâ€™s strategy. Khoury added that this critical moment in the history of the Arab region offers a great opportunity â€œfor our organizations to reorganize our cooperation along lines that are clear, strategic, focused, and responsive to the current challenges. The region cannot afford scattered and reactive development initiatives. Today we have the opportunity to lead by example, putting into practice cohesive programmes of cooperation targeting the most critical priority issues.â€ He also highlighted a few successful and fruitful experiences that the UN-LAS partnership was based on, concluding with the regional efforts made to prepare for the Rio + 20 Conference, which ESCWA and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) worked in close partnership with LAS and in particular with the Council of Ministers Responsible for the Environment. He pointed out that ESCWA is currently working with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and LAS to support regional preparations for the International Conference on Population and Development at 20. Khoury said that through the Regional Coordination Mechanism, ESCWA collaborates with LAS and all regional UN partners to ensure regional policy coherence on issues of strategic relevance to the region, adding that the close partnership between the Commission and LAS has also resulted in the establishment of a regional Internet governance forum that brings multiple stakeholders to review issues of internet governance that are high priority for the region. The ESCWA representative expressed keen awareness that the Commissionâ€™s relevance is strengthened by a membership that could only bring LAS and ESCWA closer together, emphasizing joint commitment to a broader vision of Arab prosperity and development. It is worth noting that participants highlighted UN-LAS cooperation and assessed progress in implementing recommendations made in the 2008 meeting and 2012 sectoral meeting. They also discussed issues of high importance to the region.