The Arab Regional Conference for the Ten Year Review and Appraisal of the Outcome of HABITAT II “Ten Years after Istanbul: Call for Equity” will be held from 11 to 13 April at the UN House, Beirut.
Opening at 10am on Tuesday 11 April 2006, the conference aims to promote a ten-year review and appraisal of the implementation of the HABITAT II agenda, calling for equity in sustainable development of urban and rural communities, and following up on the implementation of the results of the agenda on the regional, national and local levels. It also aims to review related national and regional expertise and experiences in addition to future aspirations and expectations in the Arab region. For the first time, the conference will witness a comprehensive review of the experience of local and national urban monitors in the UNESCWA regional entitled “Partnership for Development” that falls within the scope of promoting partnerships with the local authorities and improving their level of performance according to the commitments of implementing and continued implementation of the HABITAT II agenda in the Arab region.
The conference will bring together ministers and officials concerned with the issue of housing, municipalities, and local governance in the Arab region, including: Mr. Sadek bin Amin Abu Rass, Minister of Local Administration in Yemen; Mr. Husni Abou Ghida, Minister of Public Works and Housing in Jordan; Mr. Abdel Baset Spedrat, Minister of Federal Governance in Sudan; Ahmed Toufic Hujeira, Minister-designate for Housing in Morocco; Mr. Khalil Hajal, Director-General of Administrations and Local Council in the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities in Lebanon; and Mr. Toufic Al Bedeiri, Director-General of the Palestinian General Administration for Urban Planning. A number of Governors, Heads of Municipalities, consultants and academics dealing with issues of housing and urban development, intellectuals, and related media will be participating in the conference. They are joined by representatives of local authorities, non-governmental organizations, private businesses, regional organizations, UN bodies, as well as Arab, regional and international donors.
Major Book Fair Parallel to the Conference
UNESCWA will exhibit publications entitled “Ten Years after Istanbul: Call for Equity” that will feature the major achievements of Arab countries in implementation of the HABITAT II agenda in the region during the period 1996-2006. The exhibit will also include posters, schemes, films, and publications on four prominent themes: The prize on the reconstruction of Beirut that was called for by UNESCWA and delivered by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT) to former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafic Hariri; the achievements of the Foundation of his HRH Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in memory of his parents towards development housing; best practices in projects to upgrade slums in Egypt, namely in historical areas, and elaborate on the best practices of Ashouka social practitioners; and the 2002 Dubai Prize for Best Practices that went to the Deir el Qamar Women’s League in North Bekaa, Lebanon.