Media advisory

20 Oct 2022

ESCWA and SOAS University of London launch the World Development Challenges Report


What: The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), in collaboration with the Centre for Development Policy and Research (CDPR) at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London are holding a discussion to launch their new report entitled “World Development Challenges Report: Development from a Broader Lens”.

When: Wednesday 26 October 2022, at 5:30 p.m. BST (19:30 Beirut time)

Where: SOAS University of London, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre and online. Register here to attend the event online or in person.

Who:  The launching event will feature:

  • Ms. Laura Hammond (PhD), Pro-Director of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Professor of Development Studies and Co-Director of the Centre for Migration and Diaspora Studies, SOAS University of London;
  • Mr. Carlos Oya (PhD), Professor of Political Economy of Development, SOAS University of London;
  • Mr. Amir Lebdioui (PhD), Development Economist and Lecturer in the Political Economy of Development, SOAS University of London;
  • Ms. Sabina Alkire (PhD), Professor of Poverty and Human Development, and Director of the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), University of Oxford;
  • Mr. Khalid Abu-Ismail (PhD), Senior Economic Affairs Officer, ESCWA;
  • Mr. Selim Jahan (PhD), Former Director of the Human Development Report Office (HDRO), UNDP.

Why: In the last three decades, the world has drastically transformed; challenges to address a wide range of development issues such as poverty, hunger, inequality, climate change and environmental degradation are hindering the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There have been many debates on which issues to consider when measuring development achievements. The report assesses those challenges humanity is facing, and helps policymakers better scrutinize their national development policies.

It tackles the challenges faced in 163 countries, and sheds light on the least developed ones. The report follows the human development approach, but offers an analytical tool that is arguably better suited than the Human Development Index to evaluate and address current global and regional development challenges.



One of five United Nations regional commissions, ESCWA supports inclusive and sustainable economic and social development in Arab States, and works on enhancing regional integration.

- Ms. Maryam Sleiman, Public Information Assistant, +961-81-769-888; email:

- Ms. Rania Harb, Public Information Assistant, +961-70-008-879; email:

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