The Sixth Session of UN-ESCWA Committee on Social Development convened in Amman, Jordan, from 5 to 7 March 2007. Participants included representatives of the Ministries of Social Development and Social Affairs in UN-ESCWA member countries, and of the Ministries of Finance and Planning. This is in addition to representatives of the United Nations organizations and specialized agencies, international and regional non-governmental organizations, civil society institutions, universities, and research centers.
The Session tackled a series of substantive reports related to social development policies and programmes in the UN-ESCWA region. The reports focused on issues related to social policy and national development strategies, monitoring the implementation of the Arab Decade for Disability 2004-2013 in the UN-ESCWA region, and labor migration in the Arab countries. It also included items related to the follow-up on the implementation of the fifth Session recommendations, progress made in terms of social development activities implemented between the fifth and sixth Sessions of the Committee on Social Development, as well as the proposed work programme for 2008-2009 in the field of social development.
At the end of the session, participants came up with a series of recommendations, the most important of which was confirming the increased interest of member countries in integrated social development policies in the Arab region. They called on UN-ESCWA to take the necessary arrangements to organize the session on an annual basis and to provide advisory services in the field of integrated social policy and comprehensive social development. They also urged member countries to submit requests to UN-ESCWA to provide these services according to their needs. Participants confirmed the importance of assigning focal points in all member countries to follow-up on social development issues in general and social policy issues in particular with the Social Development Division in UN-ESCWA. The Commission was asked to develop programmes that build capacities and raise awareness to promote the participation of civil society with governments in the formulation and monitoring of integrated social policy. Member countries were also invited to devote greater attention to migration issues; sign, ratify and commit to the international treaty for disabled persons; and provide support to UN-ESCWA in implementing the regional campaign on Secure Housing and Land Tenure Towards Good Urban Governance.