Beirut, 30 August 2019 (ESCWA)--The Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Ms. Rola Dashti, heading a delegation from the regional commission, wrapped up a tour in Bern, Berlin and Oslo today, where she met with European partners with a longstanding history of support to the Arab region.
The Executive Secretary met with NAFS Programme donor focal points in Germany and Norway for the first time since her appointment and updated them on the work of the Programme.
In Oslo, Dashti held several meetings with high-level officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She met with the Policy Director for United Nations Development Activities, Ms. Berit Fladby, with whom she discussed the UN reform process, highlighting it as an opportunity to improve collaboration among regional entities for the effective delivery of their mandates. The two officials stressed the importance of providing UN expertise, information, publications, data and statistics to various development stakeholders.
Fladby praised the ESCWA plan to create a smart knowledge and data hub using frontier technologies and artificial intelligence.
Earlier, Dashti had met with the Deputy Director General of the Department for Regional Affairs and Head of Peace and Reconciliation, Mr. Vebjorn Dysvik, to discuss collaboration, the situation of countries in conflict and the support provided by ESCWA to its member States in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Dysvik also commended the work of ESCWA in the region and assured Dashti of his country’s support.
In Berlin, Dashti met with the German Foreign Office's Director for the Relations with the Middle East and North Africa, Mr. Philipp Ackermann, in the presence of the German Ambassador in Beirut, Mr. Georg Birgelen.
Discussions tackled the situation in the Arab region with a focus on countries in conflict, such as Syria and Yemen, and how to strengthen collaboration between ESCWA and the German government to support a stable and sustainable Arab region.
Dashti also met with the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr. Martin Jäger, to discuss the support provided by the Ministry to ESCWA on Syria and how to strengthen collaboration on challenging issues confronting the region such as climate change, youth employment, migration and gender equality.
Prior to that, Dashti had also met with the Director General of International Order, the United Nations and Arms Control at the Federal Foreign Office, Ms. Susanne Baumann, who reiterated support for the UN Secretary-General’s reforms and for empowering regional commissions and strengthening their role to advance the regional dimension of development.
Baumann praised the role and work of ESCWA in promoting peace, stability and shared prosperity in the Arab region, namely in countries in conflict.
In Bern, Dashti met with several senior officials from the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. Discussions with the Head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Unit, Ambassador Manuel Bessler, and other officials, tackled strengthening cooperation between ESCWA and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) to help Arab countries in conflict achieve peace, justice and strong institutions.
Dashti also discussed with Ambassador Frank Grütter, Head of the UN and International Organizations Division, and his team the ongoing UN reform and the need to strengthen the important role of regional commissions in supporting member States achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Dashti discussed with Ambassador Pietro Mona and other senior officers involved in migration issues collaborative work on the dynamics of migration and its impact on the Arab region's socioeconomic development.
Earlier, Dashti had also met with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, and discussed the work of ESCWA to support countries in conflict.
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