Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, representing President Michel Suleiman, alongside UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA "/> What's New

What's New

ESCWA Kicks off Third Technical Committee, Celebrations for 35th Anniversary

Lebanese Foreign Minister Fawzi Salloukh, representing President Michel Suleiman, alongside UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCWA Executive Secretary Bader AlDafa, opened on 21 July the third meeting of the ESCWA Technical Committee in its Beirut headquarters, a meeting dedicated to the financial crisis, food security, climate change and other issues.

In the opening session, also dedicated to the launching of celebrations for ESCWA 35th Anniversary, AlDafa said this anniversary is a proclamation of "our adherence to ESCWA's mission of fostering development cooperation in a time of conflict, a consecration of dialogue in a time of violence and a commitment to preserving the local character of our region in the midst of globalization". AlDafa underlined ESCWA's achievements, not the least of all was overcoming the difficulties it has faced, such as its repetitive relocations between different capitals as a consequence of war and conflict.


AlDafa thanked President Suleiman for taking the event under his patronage for his continuous support to the Regional Commission and the unique position it occupies in the region.  


For his part, Minister Salloukh praised "ESCWA's strong and diverse efforts since its establishment in 1973 to promote economic and social development in Western Asia", noting "the vital role the Commission has played since its inception, and the power it has to overcome difficult regional circumstances that came in parallel to its launching in Beirut, where it stood its ground until its forced relocation as a result of the Israeli invasion in 1982 to Baghdad, which it left in 1991 to Amman before finally returning to settle in its home town Beirut in  1997".  Political instability and security tensions did not break down the Commission's will, and instead pushed it closer to the issues of our Arab region and made it more perceptive of its peoples' suffering.


"ESCWA is an additional element in the promotion of common Arab work", Sallouk said, pointing out the commitment to efficiency and flexibility in always being on top of world changes that governs the work of ESCWA, and which made its Session held in 2006, in Beirut, establish the Technical Committee that chose to deal in its present meeting with urgent issues such as the financial crisis, food security, and the climate change and its repercussions.


Minister Salloukh announced as well Lebanon's candidacy for the non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the period 2010-2011 as representative of the Arab group, adding: "we hope to be able to reflect our region's issues, express our peoples' concerns, and serve the stability and prosperity of our countries as well as the cause of just and comprehensive peace".


The third speaker at the ceremony was the Under-Secretary of the Yemeni Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation Muhammad Ahmad Al-Hawri, who delivered an opening statement in his capacity as Chairman of the present session of the Technical Committee. Al-Hawri praised the great role ESCWA continues to play in the service of its countries' economic and social development, particularly in Yemen, "where it was an efficient partner in several programs and projects that aim to strengthen human development on both economic and social levels".


Shortly before the opening, Executive Secretary Bader AlDafa visited the tomb of late Lebanese Prime Minsiter Rafic Hariri to pay tribute to the man behind ESCWA's return to Beirut, its official and permanent seat.


At the end of the opening ceremony for the Technical Committee, an oriental musique de chambre concert was held, followed by a reception for guests and staff.
Copyright UN-ESCWA