ESCWA headquarters in Beirut yesterday hosted the annual celebration of the Lions Day with the UN, in the presence of a host of official, diplomatic, cultural, media and social figures.
Speaking at the opening ceremony were ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Nadim Khoury, Lions Clubs District 351 Governor Nabil Rousse, and “Lions Day with the UN” District 351 Chairman Amine Hacha.
“The region is currently facing a set of socio-economic challenges,” Khoury said in his opening statement, adding that this “(calls) for us to tailor our work towards meeting their needs”. “Lions District 351 and UN regional and country teams should join efforts in these times when our region needs us the most. Lions’ District 351 manages activities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Countries covered by ESCWA and other organizations with a regional mandate,” he said.
ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary noted that the celebration aimed at reaffirming the global and principled framework for partnerships between the UN and Civil Society and the private sector towards development; exploring ways of jointly bringing these partnerships closer to the present crises that rock and transform our region today; and building on the experience on the ground, celebrating successes and scaling them up.
In his statement, Lions Governor Nabil Rousse said that Lions share similar humanitarian goals with the UN since its foundation, and have provided aid and manpower for projects by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). He added that the UN and the Lions should work together “in an enduring commitment to achieve international cooperation in solving both national and international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character.”
Hacha, for his part, said that since the establishment of the UN-Lions relationship, both parties “worked together on many humanitarian ventures, and Lions have been encouraged to be informed, to support and to promulgate information about the UN, its humanitarian objectives and the work of its agencies.”
Lions Clubs have a consultative seat within the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and they are considered a long-standing partner within the UN Global Compact; a framework for private sector and Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) participation in the overall attainment of UN development goals. The Lions Day with the UN has been traditionally celebrated since 1979.
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