UN-ESCWA participated in the 10th meeting of the Arab Working Group (AWG) on the Arab Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Strategy, organized by the League of Arab States in Cairo on 13-14 March 2007. The meeting was attended by representatives of ten Arab countries, namely: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Syria. This is in addition to representatives of regional and international organizations such as the International Telecommunication Union-Arab Office, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, the Arab Business Forum, and the Technical Secretariat of the Arab Telecommunication and Information Council of Ministers.
Participants in the meeting discussed the formulation of the general Arab ICT strategy for the period 2007-2012. The strategy highlights the Arab vision for building the Information Society entitled "Building an Integrated Arab Information Society by Maximizing the Benefits of ICT and Establishing an Arab Industry to Promote Sustainable Socioeconomic Development". The strategy also identifies three main goals for building an Arab Information Society and developing the ICT industry. Continued progress is being made towards the final formulation of the Arab ICT strategy, which will be submitted to the Arab Telecommunication and Information Council of Ministers for approval in early June 2007.
Participants also covered suggested indicators for the general Arab ICT strategy's plan of action. They highlighted the progress made towards the implementation of regional Arab projects approved by the Arab Telecommunication and Information Council of Ministers in 2005 with the aim of achieving the goals of the World Summit on Information Society.
UN-ESCWA was represented by Ms. Nibal Idlebi, Information Technology Officer of the ICT Division, who presented the amendments to the draft of the Arab ICT strategy suggested by UN-ESCWA. She also reviewed recent UN-ESCWA activities that intersect with regional Arab projects for building the Information Society.