Beirut, 21 October 2019 (ESCWA)--As part of its ongoing efforts towards a better understanding of risk drivers in the region, ESCWA organized a meeting on “Developing a risk assessment framework in the Arab region”. The meeting was held on 17 and 18 October in Beirut, in partnership with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the UNDP Regional Hub for Arab States and the United Nations Department of Peacebuilding and Political Affairs.
Experts and decisions makers from academic institutions, think tanks and United Nations entities operating in fields such as governance, poverty, economics, climate change and water scarcity, peacebuilding and peacekeeping, humanitarian affairs, and politics and security, attended the meeting.
Participants affirmed that the drivers of risk were multidimensional and interconnected, cutting across areas such as climate change, demography, urbanization, economy, migration, and natural resource exploitation. They agreed that conflict and non-conflict stress factors – ranging from forced displacement and aid dependency, to water stress and food insecurity, to governance deficits and gender inequality – needed to be regularly appraised against the backdrop of an extremely fluid regional context.
Experts also saw that analysis at the national level was no longer sufficient, given the magnitude of factors and their long-term impacts that go beyond borders and affect national and regional development trajectories. They argued further that policymakers and stakeholders must take into account the drivers of risks into their national development strategies to improve prevention, mitigation, resilience and response.
Against this background, adopting a risk assessment framework for the Arab region is key: it will allow for the analysis of the interconnected effects of conflict and non-conflict drivers of hazard and vulnerability in the Arab region. Furthermore, it will provide a platform to discuss and exchange periodic analytic products, and technical assistance to member States in developing risk-sensitive planning.
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