Beirut, 27 September 2019 (ESCWA)--This week, the Executive Secretary of ESCWA, Rola Dashti, attended the 74th General Assembly and several related events, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit.
This year, world leaders met for the first time since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015 with a view to accelerating progress in the implementation of the 17 SDGs (Watch these videos for recent updates) and adopted a political declaration titled “Gearing up for a decade of action and delivery for sustainable development”. They also announced more than 100 acceleration actions on the SDGs.
Arab Framework for the Eradication of Multidimensional Poverty
Dashti participated in the launch of the Arab Strategic Framework for the Eradication of Multidimensional Poverty by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, with World Bank Senior Vice-President Mahmoud Mohieldin and Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Wali.
In her remarks, Dashti underlined that the Arab region was the only one in the world where extreme poverty had increased in the past years. “Today, if we exclude Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, two in every three households in the region are either poor or vulnerable to multidimensional poverty,” she said.
According to recent reports, the Arab region will need to create about 8 million jobs per year in the next decade, but it is only generating 2.7 million, of which 1.8 in the informal sector and mainly in low productivity activities. “Our challenge is to create far more decent work opportunities,” Dashti stressed.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly, Dashti held several bilateral meetings with high-level officials, such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iraq, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, who praised ESCWA for its role in supporting development in the region.
Dashti met with Sudan's Foreign Minister Asmaa Mohammed Abdullah and congratulated her on being the first woman in her country to hold this prominent position. Dashti reiterated the commitment of ESCWA to assist the Sudan in this transitional phase.
She assured Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State in the United Arab Emirates, of ESCWA support to his country for the success of Expo2020 in Dubai. In turn, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa, reaffirmed his country’s full support to ESCWA and the critical role it plays in advancing the socioeconomic development of countries in the region.
Dashti also met with Syria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, Walid al-Moallem, who said that the development challenges faced by his country were sizeable and required technical support and training for civil servants in different institutions. She also held a meeting with Mauritania’s Foreign Minister, Ismail Ould Cheikh, during which they discussed the importance of tackling the different facets of inequality and the role of ESCWA in that regard.
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