Participants in an ESCWA meeting agreed that the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) should not deem environmental considerations as barriers to trade or conditions of development assistance. They emphasized the responsibility of developed countries for meeting their commitments to support developing countries in achieving sustainable development through appropriate funding and the process of transfer and settlement of technology, as well as implementing capacity-building programs. These were the recommendations of an ESCWA workshop on “IFSD in the Arab Region,” held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) on 3-5 October.
The workshop was organized by the regional commission in cooperation with the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment in KSA, the League of Arab States, UN Environmental Program and Cairo office of the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Participants called on the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for the Environment (CAMRE) to help Arab countries in harmonizing their IFSDs with international and regional ones. At the national level, they urged Arab countries that have not yet established an IFSD to promptly do so in compliance with Arab summit resolutions and CAMRE decisions on this matter.
The workshop aimed to discuss existing IFSD in the Arab region at the national and regional levels, assess its strengths and weaknesses, and identify possible and proposed reforms to address emerging challenges facing sustainable development. It also sought to help Arab countries to develop a clear position on the issue of international environmental governance, which is being negotiated as part of Rio +20, while building on the outcomes of the Solo Dialogue.