Engaging in regional and global processes, enhancing policy coherence, and promoting coordination on priority issues were the focus areas of the 18th meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism (RCM) held on 15 March 2013 at the UN House in Beirut.
The meeting, which was attended by regional directors and representatives of UN agencies and regional partners, was inaugurated by ESCWA Executive Secretary Rima Khalaf, and League of Arab States (LAS) Assistant Secretary-General for Social Affairs Faeqa Saeed Alsaleh.
In her opening statement, Khalaf stressed that “it is incumbent upon the Regional Coordination Mechanism, as the mechanism that brings together United Nations organizations and the League of Arab States, to work in harmony and effectively towards a just and sustainable path to development, a path that ensures that the demands of the peoples are met and honoured.” “These are the demands that we should keep in mind as we prepare for a post-2015 development agenda,” Khalaf added.
For her part, Alsaleh informed the meeting that a joint UN-LAS working group was established to examine ways of further strengthening common action, adding that the most recent General UN-LAS Coordination meeting held in Vienna in July 2012 was one of the most successful joint meetings ever held.
In addition to identifying strategic priority areas for joint work between UN and LAS in the economic, social and environmental clusters, the meeting also offered the opportunity for participants to consult on ways of supporting the preparations for and outcomes of the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) through the newly established Thematic Working Group. The next AMR, which will be held in June 2013 in Geneva will focus on the role of science, technology and innovation, and the potential of culture. Finally, the meeting also gave voice to regional civil society organizations during a session with Ms. Amina Mohammad, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning. RCM members had the opportunity to deliberate with civil society actors on priorities for the post-2015 agenda as well as to discuss civil society expectations of the UN system.
Established in 1998, the RCM intends to strengthen and cooperation among UN organizations in the Arab region; exchange information at the inter-agency level; and facilitate coordination and promote joint action in order to better serve the countries of the region and to maximize combined impact of the UN work.
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