UNESCWA Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy commended the cooperation of the host country, Lebanon, on all levels, particularly security and development, as well as the attention of the Ambassadors of UNESCWA member countries in their capacity as representatives enhancing communication between the Secretariat and the governments of their countries.
Tallawy was speaking at the UNESCWA Advisory Committee Meeting held this morning at the UN House. It was attended by Qatari Ambassador Jaber bin Abdallah Al Soueidi, Egyptian Ambassador Hussein Derar, Yemeni Ambassador Mohamed Abdul Majed Qubaty, Sudanese Ambassador Sayed Ahmad Al Bakhit, Lebanese ambassador Antoine Chedid representing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, Iraqi charge d’affaire Tahseen Alwane Aina, Omani charge d’affair Saeed bin Hareth Al Barashdi, Jordanian charge d’affair Mohamad Al Kayed, UAE charge d’affair Ahmed Al Dhahri, Kuwaiti charge d’affair Tarek Al Hamad, Commercial Attaché at the Saudi Embassy Faisal Al Zawawi, and Syrian Head of State Planning Talal Bkaflouni. The meeting was also attended by UNESCWA Secretary of the Commission Khaled Galal AbdelHamid, UNESCWA Chiefs of Division and other senior officers.
Tallawy stated that Saudi Arabia will be heading the UNESCWA 24th Ministerial Session in Beirut next May. She hoped the Session would be an opportunity to shed light on the successes of countries in the region and their major achievements, seeing as “the world typically focuses on the shortcomings.”
The major issues to be addressed at the upcoming Ministerial Session, said Tallawy, will include regional and international developments, their reflection on the role of UNESCWA in the region; youth unemployment and means of overcoming it; and reviewing progress made by Yemen in the implementation of the Program of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2001-2010.
Referring to Resolution 254 (XXIII) of the UNESCWA 23rd Ministerial Session concerning the establishment of the UNESCWA Technology Center, Tallawy said the Commission prepared a document setting the general framework for this Center, its general and specific goals, as well as its organizational and financing structure. UNESCWA has secured funding for a feasibility study that focuses on the region’s needs and offers possible prototypes for this Center, means of financing it through possible partners, and its launching. Tallawy identified the steps that will be taken by UNESCWA in this regard ahead of the next Ministerial Session. She expressed hope that one of the UNESCWA member countries would signal the desire to host this Center.
Referring to the seminar organized in Beirut on 24 January 2006 concerning the role of UNESCWA through 2010, the Executive Secretary reviewed the results of the seminar. They included: encouraging Arab countries that are non-members of UNESCWA to participate in all its activities and to join the Commission; establishing a UNESCWA plan for contributing to democratic development and reform projects in the region and enhancing the capacity of UNESCWA to offer technical expertise in this field in coordination with the concerned parties; and establishing an observatory to monitor and analyze tension and conflict between the member countries and within them as part of an early warning system.
Tallawy was followed by Mr. Ivan Koulov, UNESCWA Chief of Administrative Services, and Ms. Cornelia Moussa, Chief of the UNESCWA Human Resources Management Section, who explained the hiring mechanism at the United Nations in general and UNESCWA in particular. Moussa urged the representatives present to encourage their governments to nominate qualified candidates for vacant posts in the international organization.
The Advisory Committee was established by UNESCWA resolution 175 (XV) of 18 May 1989 to strengthen the role and performance of the Commission. It consists of heads of diplomatic missions in the host country of the Commission, as well as a high-level representative of the host country. The Advisory Committee plays a consultative role and functions as a major means of communication between member countries and the UNESCWA Secretariat and among member countries themselves on important matters requiring attention during the period between the biennial sessions of the Commissions.