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					                      UN-ESCWA                                                         WEEKLY NEWS
                                                                                       United Nations
                                                                                       Economic and Social Commission
                                                                                       for Western Asia

 ISSUE 25/52                                                                               27 June 2005

UN Executive Secretaries                   Partners Debate UN-ESCWA                   permanent partnerships with the
Meeting                                    Technical Cooperation Strategy             donor countries, private sector, and
                                                                                      regional      and        international
UN-ESCWA will host a meeting on 7                                                     organizations to achieve common
and 8 July 2005 of the Executive                                                      goals.
Secretaries of the five UN regional                                                   Using a Power Point presentation,
commissions to discuss major issues                                                   UN-ESCWA Chief of Programme
included in the agenda of the                                                         Planning and Technical Cooperation
international body, most important of                                                 Christian De Clercq highlighted the
which is the report of UN Secretary-                                                  scope     and    content     of    the
General Kofi Annan, “In Larger                                                        Commission’s      Programme         of
Freedom: Towards Development,                                                         Technical Cooperation (TC).
Security and Human Rights for All.”
This notable meeting comes on the                                                     Regular Meeting of the UN-
eve of a world summit due to be held       The exchange of views on priorities        ESCWA Advisory Committee
at UN headquarters in New York this        and opportunities for establishing and     Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy
September.      Participating in the       enhancing        cooperation        and    reviewed the results of the 23rd
meeting are the following Executive        partnerships was the main thrust of a      Ministerial Session held in Damascus
Secretaries:        Ms.          Brigita   meeting of foreign and Arab                from 9 to 12 May with the
Schmognerova, of the UN Economic           diplomats, as well as representatives      ambassadors of member countries
Commission for Europe (ECE); Mr.           from the private sector and multilateral   during a meeting of the UN-ESCWA
Kim Hak-Su, of the UN Economic and         organizations, that was headed by          Advisory Committee on 22 June.
Social Commission for Asia and the         UN-ESCWA Executive Secretary               In light of the decisions taken at the
Pacific (ESCAP), Mr. Jose Luis             Mervat Tallawy. “This is an opportune      Session, Tallawy called on the
Machinea, of the UN Economic               time,” she said, “for increased action     Advisory Committee to: support UN-
Commission for Latin America and the       as we seek to redouble efforts to help     ESCWA in getting the necessary
Caribbean     (ECLAC);      Mr.    K.Y.    the region achieve the millennium          funding to establish technology and
Amoako, of the UN Economic                 development goals, on the one hand,        water resource centres; sign and ratify
Commission for Africa (ECA); and Ms.       and to assist in post-conflict recovery    the Memorandum of Understanding
Mervat Tallawy, of UN-ESCWA. The           by exploiting the linkages between         on Cooperation in the Field of
meeting will also be attended by           peace, security, human rights and the      Maritime Transport in the Arab
world-renowned figures, senior UN          synergy that might be gained from          Mashreq as soon as possible; support
officials, and a host of political,        each other.”                               joint projects between UN-ESCWA
diplomatic, economic, intellectual,
                                           The Executive Secretary considered         and the League of Arab States (LAS);
cultural and media personalities.
                                           the provision of technical cooperation     and support UN-ESCWA by adopting
“Regional Integration, Bilateralism,       to be very important to achieve            development projects prepared by the
and Multilateralism: Harmony or            concrete results and to reach further      Secretariat that are scheduled to be
Conflict?” will be the focus of a          increased impact at the national level.    presented to member countries at the
roundtable on the first day to be          Tallawy noted that 2 resolutions on        2006 ministerial session. Tallawy
opened by Tallawy and Mr. Dimyanos         technical cooperation had been             concluded with a brief on the
Kattar, Lebanese Minister of Finance,      adopted at the UN-ESCWA 23rd               prominent upcoming activities.
Economy and Trade.                         Ministerial Session in Damascus last
On the 2nd day of the meeting,             month. The first resolution approved
participants will hold a roundtable on     the       UN-ESCWA            Technical
the “Report of the Secretary-General:      Cooperation Strategy and aimed at
In Larger Freedom. An In-depth             strengthening technical cooperation,
Discussion and Analysis.”       It will    while the second one called for
feature a statement by Tallawy as well     promoting partnership. The Executive
as presentations by Dr. George Corm,       Secretary went on to mention several
former Lebanese Minister of Finance,       technical projects being undertaken by
and Mr. Shafiq Masri, professor at the     UN-ESCWA in various sectors,
American University of Beirut (AUB).       including transport, water, technology
                                           and energy, saying they would help
                                           enhance technical cooperation create
Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the UN-ESCWA Region 2005 - Summary

Facts and Figures

       While turbulent conditions prevailed in Iraq and Palestine, 2004 was another good year in terms of overall
       economic growth for Western Asia. The combination of high oil prices and production, low interest rates,
       ample liquidity in both public and private sectors and associated domestic demand expansion gave rise to
       strong growth.
       GDP in constant 2000 prices in the UN-ESCWA region (excluding Iraq and Palestine) grew by 4.8%, declining
       from the high 5.7% achieved in 2003, but still a considerable improvement over growth in recent years.
       The MDEs (More Diversified Economies) and GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) enjoyed an upturn in real GDP
       levels. The 2004 cyclical upswing is expected to continue in 2005, where UN-ESCWA forecasts indicate 5.2%
       real growth, with the exception of Iraq and Palestine. For UN-ESCWA as a whole (including Iraq and
       Palestine), 5.4% is expected.
       Per capita GDP (excluding Iraq and Palestine) increased by 2.3% in real terms, while average population
       growth is estimated at 2.4%.

                                                     Upcoming Events

   27 - 29 June 2005             Expert Group Meeting on Access to Environmental Information for
   Beirut, Lebanon               Public Participation in UN-ESCWA Member Countries
   27 June - 1 July 2005         Training Workshop for Strengthening the Capacity of National Machineries
   Beirut, Lebanon               through the Effective Use of Information and Communication Technologies

 Participants Showcase Activities at Alexandria Event                                      New Publications
 One year after the official launch of the Global Compact in Egypt, the               Regional Plan of Action for
 Egyptian Global Compact Network hosted a high-level event at the                   Building the Information Society
 Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria to showcase company activities and         E/ESCWA/ICTD/2004/4
 discuss challenges and opportunities on the way forward.
 The event, entitled “Corporate Success through Social Responsibility in         UN-ESCWA
 Egypt”, brought together close to 300 representatives from Egyptian             published      a
 business, civil society, government and the media. Participants used the        Regional Plan
 opportunity to submit their Communications on Progress (COP), outlining         of Action for
 company activities in support of the ten Global Compact principles.             Building     the
                                             According to UN Resident Co-        Information
                                             ordinator in Egypt, Antonio         Society     that
                                             Vigilante: "Corporate Social        outlines       a
                                             Responsibility is no longer a       comprehensive
                                             philanthropic issue. It represents  strategic
                                             the understanding that a social     framework that
                                             commitment is implied in the        aims to create
                                             recognition of the private sector   adequate
                                             being at the core of a country's    indigenous
                                             development, not only in terms      capabilities for harnessing information and
                                             of    economic     growth     and   knowledge, so contributing to building
 employment generation but also in being an agent of general progress. The       information and communication technology
 private sector in Egypt is showing increasing understanding of this."           (ICT) production capabilities and promoting the
 UN Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the "Global Compact" initiative        development of the information society in the
 in 1999 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he called for               region. This proposed framework is based on
 businesses worldwide to adopt ethical practices and support development.        ten areas, partnership programmes and
 Currently, Egypt is the only Arab nation to have formally adopted the           regional projects.
 Compact, one year ago (2004).
                                          Tel: 00 961 1 981 301 Fax: 00 961 1 981 510
                      United Nations House, Riad El-Solh, P.O. Box 11-8575, Beirut 2023 6501, Lebanon

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