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Press Release

2013 Arab MDGs Report to Be Launched from New York

Beirut, 19 September  2013   (Communication and Information Unit)--

On Monday the 23rd of September 2013, the United Nations Headquarters in New York will witness the launching of the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.escwa.un.org/sites/arabmdg13/">Arab Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2013 </a> in a ceremony, which will be held at 13:15 (1:15 pm).

The Report will be launched by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS) Mr. Nabil Al-Arabi; the Executive Secretary of ESCWA and Chairperson of the UN Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) for the Arab States Ms. Rima Khalaf; as well as the Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States and Chairperson of the UN Regional Development Group for the Arab States Ms. Sima Bahous.

The Chief Economist and Director of the Economic Development and Globalization Division at ESCWA Mr. Abdallah Al-Dardari, and the ESCWA Chief Development Policy Section, Mr. Khalid Abu-Ismail, will be presenting the main findings of the Report.

The launching ceremony will be followed by a press conference, which will be held by Mr. Al-Dardari at 16:30 (4:30 pm).

Progress towards the achievement of many targets of the MDGs in the Arab region has been obstructed by remaining inequalities between countries and within countries. In addition, recent political transitions in some countries may provide an opportunity to meet people’s aspirations, yet they remain a current threat to MDG progress. Conflicts in the region affect an already vicious cycle of poverty, unemployment and hunger. Unemployment is expected to have reached 14.8 per cent in 2013, above 1990 level. This renders the policy challenge “decent work for all” urgent and manifold, especially with regard to improving the low participation of women and youth. Expected increases in poverty and unemployment are likely to contribute to a continuing increase of people suffering from hunger (20 per cent in the near future, up from 15 per cent in 2011).

However, at the same time, the Arab region has demonstrated impressive achievements on many MDGs despite the fact that conflict and instability continue to take their toll on economic, social and political life. On average, the region is behind on MDGs by 9.6 per cent, which is better than the average of 13.3 per cent for other developing regions.


The Arab MDGs Report is a response to a request by the UN General Assembly for a periodic assessment of progress towards MDGs in the Arab region. It was jointly prepared by LAS, the UN organizations members of RCM and the Regional UN Development Group for the Arab States, and coordinated by ESCWA. The members of the thematic working group on MDGs within RCM are: the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS; the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF); the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women); the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP); the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and the World Health Organization (WHO).



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