Beirut, 28 December 2018 (Communication and Information Unit)--Challenges to development in the region and suggested orientations for the future work of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) were thoroughly discussed in Beirut at the fifth meeting of the Executive Committee in charge of steering and coordinating all the activities of the Commission.
On 18 and 19 December 2018, the Committee reviewed the implementation of recommendations made at its fourth meeting as well as that of the Beirut Consensus on Technology for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region and other resolutions adopted at the ESCWA 30th Ministerial Session in June of last year.
Senior officials from ESCWA member States attended the two-day meeting that was chaired by the Republic of Tunisia. In his opening remarks, Acting Executive Secretary of ESCWA Mounir Tabet highlighted the role of the Regional Commission in supporting member States to face regional and local challenges, particularly through its normative work, consensus building ability, and technical cooperation activities.
In addition, ESCWA provided an overview of the progress achieved on means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the Arab region. Participants discussed the latest on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for Financing for Development and the Arab Regional Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data.
The Regional Commission highlighted possible national paths for funding Sustainable Development through fighting illicit financial flows as well as spurring investment and widening the tax base. It also announced the soon-to-be-launched regional statistics platform, developed in partnership with national statistical offices.
Challenges to development in the region were also discussed, including the state of the Palestinian economy under occupation, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation. ESCWA also presented updates on the Arab Regional Conference on Population and Development: five years after the 2013 Cairo Declaration, and the recently adopted Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
Member State representatives affirmed the importance of properly addressing migration and displacement and the necessity of cooperation in that regard.
Among other issues, the Committee also discussed supporting Arab States in the periodic review of progress in implementing the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action 25 years after their adoption, before moving to ESCWA’s 2020 Programmatic Plan and technical cooperation activities.
Member States held lively discussions, providing orientations for the future work of ESCWA. They asked for continued investment in capacity-building through technical support, and asked the Regional Commission for continued follow-up and engagement.
The Executive Committee was dynamic and substantively rich, with discussions covering numerous aspects of development. Member States agreed on a number of recommendations which would guide the future work of ESCWA.
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