ESCWA 30th Ministerial Session: Technology for sustainable development in the Arab region

The theme of this year’s event covered technology for sustainable development, where issues leading to political stability were discussed.
by Ryme Alhussayni and Tala Ramadan

28 June 2018 | 16:15

Source: by Annahar

This photo shows the first rounded table discussion, at ESCWA building, in Downtown, Beirut, on June 27, 2018. (Annahar Photo/Tala Ramadan)

BEIRUT: The 30th Ministerial Session of ESCWA is being held from 25 to 28 June in the United Nations House in Beirut, placing emphasis on Technology for sustainable development in the Arab region. The session included two parts: the senior authorities fragment (25-26 June), and the ministerial segment (27-28 June).

The Ministerial Session is usually held every two years, whereby ministers and high-level authorities from over the area gather to talk about the exercises of the Secretariat, its future work program, and key financial and social improvement issues confronting the locale.

Delegates of ESCWA took a significant role in the session, which was attended by representatives welcomed as observers from member States of the United Nations, pertinent United Nations organs, and particular organizations of local and intergovernmental associations, and non-legislative associations having consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

In a speech at the opening of the session, President Michel Aoun called for relying on technology to promote the development process in the Arab region, and to support the process of economic and social development.

Addressing the NGO, Aoun said: "Within the framework of the 30th ESCWA Ministerial Session, you meet people who put together all your expertise to discuss all possible avenues for sustainable and comprehensive development of the Arab nation; your meeting is a remarkable sign in our region during these delicate times.”

The theme of this year’s event covered technology for sustainable development, where issues leading to political stability were discussed. Among the issues discussed was building a new strategic framework for the reform of the electricity sector in the Syrian Republic, as ESCWA organized a training session for experts related to developing the electricity sector and restructuring it; and another training session discussed the management of public electricity institutions.

“While legal and operational transformation concerning public institutions remains a long-term goal, working on developing the intuitions’ management enhances performance and efficiency and increases the productivity of available resources,” one of the speakers said.

In light of the current situation in the Arab region, and the transformations it went through on the political, economical, social or even environmental level, UN has given the chance to find new and short-term solutions that will help boost cooperation between Arab countries, which prompted them to initiate a training session on international trade window system in Iraq, which focused on elaborating the commercial performance there and in the region as a whole.

In collaboration with the leagues of Arab States, ESCWA organized an Arab forum that includes a sustainable development plan for the year 2030, which forms a high-level regional platform to sustain the program in the Arab region. This project proved its role as a yearly convention that reunifies governments and all related parties, and helps them discover new national and regional experiences.

During his speech, the chairman and founder of the international Jordan-based organization, Talal Abou Ghazaleh, highlighted the matter of creating an environment that helps motivating imagination, innovation and originality, “We don’t need schools that graduate students, we need schools that produce inventive minds. Transition to intellectual societies is the only solution to our political instabilities,” he noted.

Another issue that was discussed was that of the role of women; the latter’s role in society has been greatly overseen in the last few years, but now it has become more active, and ESCWA played an important role regarding this matter, by spreading awareness on the significance of women, peace and security.

This NGO managed to come up with activities that shed light on women abuse and it informed many of the difficulties that women go through on a daily basis. MP Inaya Ezzedine supported this concern by stressing the importance of educational conventions to all women about technology, “we witnessed a lot of technological development in different sectors and women should be able to learn them.”

Taking into consideration that technology has become inevitable in our times, and how it is rapidly changing, Ezzedine said “we are so close to the fourth industrial revolution; technology has become the main manipulator of the public opinion, in addition to its contribution in developing different fields, like medicine, tourism, agriculture, and many more.”

In his speech, the Executive Secretary of Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Mohamed Ali Hakim, discussed how to set technology and innovation for the purpose of human development in the Arab region, and how to put these two dimensions in the favor of national development, considering their presence mandatory to drive an overall development, which helps the growth of Arab citizens.

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