Press release

23 Aug 2023

ESCWA launches an initiative to reform public administrations in the Arab region

Beirut, 23 August 2023--The Arab region, with its diversity, faces complex and multifaceted challenges with regard to public administration, including governance weakness, institutional fragility, and an inability to address crises. Against this backdrop, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) launched today, during a meeting, a regional initiative to develop innovative pathways for public administration modernization and reform in the Arab region.

Governmental representatives, researchers and experts in the field of public administration from international and regional organizations, discussed means to reform and modernize public administration systems and set priorities in this regard. This inaugural meeting paves the way for a long-term project aimed at reforming the public sector and charting its future, as the deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) approaches.

In this context, Youness Abouyoub, Chief of the Governance and State-Building Section at ESCWA, emphasized that the quality of institutions was one of the main determinants of the differences in development outcomes between countries. He also stressed the need to reform and modernize public administrations to achieve the SDGs by 2030. “While this poses a significant challenge to the region's countries, it is possible to achieve a qualitative leap through sustainable reforms based on new and innovative ideas,” he added.

Participants also discussed ways to enhance effective governance, the implications of digital governance on public administration reforms, and development challenges in the Arab region.

Abouyoub hoped that the meeting would encourage greater cooperation and exchange of knowledge among Arab countries, and the sharing of experiences and best practices in governance, institutions’ effectiveness and public services. “This initiative comes at a crucial moment as we approach the year 2030. Public institutions need to become more efficient, effective and accountable,” he pointed out.


About ESCWA:

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



For more information:

- 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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