As part of its on going effort to launch initiatives aimed at mitigating conflicts and instability in the region, ESCWA organized a consultative meeting to discuss one of those initiatives on 17 May 2007 in Beirut. The meeting brought together experts from Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Qatar and Bahrain. Representatives from UNESCO, and OHCHR also attended the meeting, in addition to the Ambassador of Iraq.
The deliberations of the one day meeting were initiated by a statement from ESCWA Executive Secretary Ms. Mervat Tallawy. She explained the importance of the project and the Commission's motives with respect to addressing the threat of ethnic and sectarian tensions across the region. Consequently, all the participants agreed that this threat is one of the most pertinent issues currently facing the region. They also commended ESCWA's initiative, highlighting the significance of the engagement of United Nation's entity to address this issue. The participants discussed the proposed approach and methodology of the project, concurring with its general objectives and providing valued comments and suggestions.