|Beirut, 27 June 2002 (United Nations Information Service)--Ali Sleiman As-Said, Ambassador of Kuwait to Lebanon, expressed his belief in the activities of ESCWA (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia) in working for regional integration. Speaking after the meeting of ESCWA's Advisory Committee, held this morning at the United Nations House in Beirut and chaired by Mervat Tallawy, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Regional Commission, As-Said said that development programmes in the region were the only step towards globalisation.
As-Said, who praised the presence of the media for this meeting, underlined the importance of publicizing the work of the Regional Commission as well as the visits of its Executive Secretary and experts to the Member States in order to explore their needs and try to find the right solutions for their development problems.
In addition to the Ambassador of Kuwait, attending the Meeting were the Ambassadors of Bahrain, Jordan, the Head of International Organizations Department at the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chargé d'affaires of the Embassies of the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Yemen, the Second Secretary of the Embassy of Egypt, the Counselor of the Embassy of Qatar as well as the Economic Affairs Advisor of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary, the Secretary of the Commission and the Chiefs of Divisions also attended the Meeting.
After having underlined the importance of the Advisory Committee and its meetings, Mrs. Tallawy briefed the participants on the current and future activities of the Commission, specially the ongoing preparations for the Regional Conference on the Socio-Economic Rehabilitation of the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be held late this year in Beirut. Tallawy also briefed the delegates on the Sixth Meeting of the UN Regional Coordination Group to be held by ESCWA, Friday 28 June 2002; the Fourth Session of ESCWA Social Development Committee to be held on 3-5 July 2002; and the ESCWA-ILO Forum on Technology, Employment and Poverty Alleviation to be held by ESCWA under the auspices of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik El-Hariri on 16-18 July 2002. The ESCWA ongoing preparations for the Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (New York, 1-24 July 2002), the World Summit on Sustainable Development (Johannesburg, 26 August-4 September 2002), the ESCWA Pledging Conference, expected to convene next in 2003, were also priority agenda items.
The Advisory Committee was established by ESCWA resolution 175 (XV) of 18 May 1989 to strengthen the role and performance of the Commission. The Committee, which consists of the ESCWA Member States heads of diplomatic missions in the host country, assumes a consultative role and functions as a major means of communication between Member States and the ESCWA Secretariat, as well as among Member States themselves on important matters requiring attention during the period between the biennial sessions of the Commission.
It is worth noting that during 2001-2002, the ESCWA Advisory Committee held three meetings in Beirut respectively on 27 February, 6 November 2001 and on 5 March 2002. The last meeting focused on the restructuring of ESCWA’s programmes and plan of action as well as on the priority areas in the Arab region such as technology, water and energy, globalization and social policies. The budget of the Commission and the support of the Member States were also on the agenda of the meeting.