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ESCWA-Rotary Launch Report on Arab MDGs

The project is of great benefit to secondary school and university instructors and students, and promotes joint cooperation between ESCWA, Rotary clubs in Lebanon, the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education and the Social Sciences Institute of the Lebanese University.

It is the Arab Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Report 2011, which was launched at the UN House on 10 October 2013 in the presence of Arab and foreign diplomatic delegates, educational personalities as well as Rotary members.

The project is intended to provide instructors of social sciences, economics and development of the Lebanese University, other universities and secondary schools with a scientific study material on the MDGs and the world development agenda beyond the year 2015. The production and marketing of the Report were financed by Rotary clubs.

Speaking at the ceremony were ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary Nadim Khoury; Rotary International Representative to ESCWA Michel Jazzar; Rotary District 2452 Governor Jamil Mouawad; Director of the Orientation Office at the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education Sonia El Khoury; and Dean of Social Sciences Faculty at the Lebanese University Frederic Maatouk. ESCWA Regional Advisor on Governance and National Dialogue Adib Nehmeh presented the main findings of the report.

In his statement, Khoury gave an overview of the historical cooperation between the Rotary International and the United Nations, which has expanded over years to include development projects on several issues. Khoury also noted that the MDGs world agenda beyond the year 2015, which will be launched by the UN General Assembly next September, constitutes a milestone that requires first, wide consultations among all stakeholders without exception; second, drafting the Goals in manner that responds to the ambitions of all states and takes into consideration their specificities; and third, dealing with the MDGs as a unified package including harmonized governance and economic and social policies at the national level and among the regional and international levels. The Deputy Executive Secretary concluded by saying in this regard that the responsibility directly falls on ESCWA for coordination in the Arab region.

For his part, Jazzar said that Rotary supports the UN Millennium Development Goals and, through its humanitarian, educational, and health programs, has obtained the highest consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Through the support and guidance of Rotary International, Rotary clubs implement projects dealing with current challenges such as illiteracy, hunger, poverty, disease, lack of clean water and environmental pollution, he added.

Speaking of the Rotary work in Lebanon, Mouawad mentioned three main projects currently underway. The first is related to providing Lebanese students and youth with clean water in public schools; the second is related to eradicating digital illiteracy in Lebanon; and the third, combating drugs through awareness campaigns.

El Khoury, for her part, spoke of the collaboration between the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education and ESCWA. Noting the lack of strategic planning in certain areas of education, she said that human skills and expertise abound however in the Ministry and in the public education sector in Lebanon.

The last speaker was Frederic Maatouk, who said that development was not a meditative science, rather an analytical and executive one aimed at creating positive change. This is obvious in the text of the report, which provides clear examples in the framework of a new development vision.

Following the statements, a detailed presentation on the reportís findings was delivered by Adib Nehme.

Concluding the ceremony, ESCWA Deputy Executive Secretary received an honorary trophy from Rotary Clubs representatives on behalf of the Regional Commission.

For a copy of the report, please contact: escwa-ciu@un.org
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