On Monday April 7, UN-ESCWA Executive Secretary Bader Omar AlDafa and the Ambassador of Yemen to Lebanon, Mr. Fayssal Amin Abu Ras, representing the Yemeni Government, signed the agreement on the special arrangements for the UN-ESCWA 25th Session, to be held on 26-29 May in Sana’a. The signing ceremony was attended by Mr. Khaled Galal AbldelHamid, Secretary of the Commission, Mr. David Iyamah, UN-ESCWA Chief of the Administrative Service Division, and Mr. Muhammad Abdul Razzak, Chief of the Program Planning and Technical Cooperation Division. Attendees on the Yemeni side included the Charge d'affaires of the Embassy in Beirut, Mr. Ahmad Hussein BaSaddiq, the Advisor and Officer in Charge of UN-ESCWA Affairs at the Embassy, Mr. Hussein Al Eriani, as well as senior officials of the Embassy.
Following the signing ceremony, AlDafa pointed out in response to a question on the reason for holding the Session outside Lebanon, that the choice of Sana’a to host the Ministerial Session came as a response to an invitation by the Yemeni Government, and this choice does not contradict United Nations provisions in any way.
For his part, Ambassador Abu Ras said that the first UN-ESCWA meeting was held in Yemen, over 20 years ago, when the late Muhammad Saeed Al Attar (Yemen) was the Commission's Executive Secretary. Yemen also looks ahead to integrate the region's economies, and UN-ESCWA is the best way to start this path. Abu Ras added that the solutions for main issues lie in focusing on the economic facets and cooperation among different parties in the region. Responding to a question on the issues that will be discussed during the Session, especially in the difficult economic context on the global level in general and on the Arab level in particular, he said that this Session will open the horizon for cooperation between Yemen and the region as a whole, namely, as a first step, with countries of the Gulf. Yemen has requested UN-ESCWA to supply it with studies and experts in the sectors of priority.
AlDafa had made an official visit to Yemen between 7 and 11 March, in preparation for the UN-ESCWA 25th Ministerial Session, where he met with the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and senior officials. He was also informed of the country's potential and its most pressing needs. Yemeni officials affirmed that both official and non-governmental institutions look with great pride toward holding the UN-ESCWA 25th Session in Sana'a, and that everyone awaits this event that will greatly contribute to the major efforts to achieve prosperity and sustainable human development in Yemen.
Pursuant to the agreement, the Yemeni government would provide all the facilitations to holding the Session, especially that it had sent an invitation to the UN-ESCWA Secretariat to hold the 25th Session in Yemen. UN-ESCWA member countries also welcomed this invitation.