ESCWA Advisory Committee held its second meeting this year, on May 16, 2007 at the UN House in Beirut. That meeting was the last Advisory Committee meeting held during the term of Executive Secretary Mervat Tallawy. Mrs Tallawy opened the meeting with a statement addressed to the participants and media representatives where she listed ESCWA achievements during the last six years. She expressed her regrets for leaving Lebanon, however she stated that she was confident in the Lebanese people’s ability to overcome the difficult days and their capacity to resume their natural pioneering role in the region. Mrs Tallawy asserted that ESCWA and its role should be preserved through continuous support and provision of necessary security.
The meeting included a presentation of UN-ESCWA achievements during the last six years and a discussion of the future of the Commission in light of international and regional changes. The participants discussed the most prominent activities implemented since the last meeting of the Advisory Committee, as well as the work programme of UN-ESCWA for the upcoming period. The meeting was an occasion for ambassadors of ESCWA members to bid farewell to ESCWA executive secretary whose mandate comes to an end on May 31, 2007 and to pay tribute to her, her work and her leadership.
In his speech, the director of international organizations, conferences and cultural relations in the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Emigrants, ambassador Mr. Antoine Shedid said: "On behalf of the Lebanese government we thank you for the excellent work you performed for the UN in general, and for ESCWA in particular. Many projects have been implemented in Lebanon and the region." Mr. Shedid hoped that ESCWA will pursue this momentum and addressed Mrs Tallawy noting: “The organization and us are proud of you.” Then the ambassador of Bahrain Mr. Waheed Mubarak Sayyar thanked Mrs Tallawy for her efficient efforts beneficial to both ESCWA and its members in all fields related to the Commission through her attempt to invigorate ESCWA's work . The closing statement was by the Saudi ambassador, Mr. Abdel-Aziz Khoja who concluded: "You are leaving with a satisfied conscience for all your brilliant work that will never be forgotten by member states."
It is worth mentioning that the Advisory Committee was established by UNESCWA resolution 175 (XV) of 18 May 1989 to strengthen the role and performance of the Commission. It consists of heads of diplomatic missions in the host country of the Commission, as well as a high-level representative of the host country. The Advisory Committee plays a consultative role and functions as a major means of communication between member countries and the UNESCWA Secretariat and among member countries themselves on important matters requiring attention during the period between the biennial sessions of the Commissions.