UN-ESCWA participated in the “International Conference on Integrated Sustainable Energy Resources in Arid Regions” held in late January 2007 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates. The conference aimed to shed light on the available applications for the management of sustainable energy resources and its techniques, and the development and integration of natural energy resources such as water, fossil fuel and renewable energies. UN-ESCWA presented a set of papers during the conference on “Solar Thermal Electricity Technologies and Systems: Current Status and Future Prospects;” “Renewable Energy Applications in Rural Areas: An Approach for Poverty Alleviation;” “Impact of Desalination Developments and Strategic Options to Protect the Environment and Public Health in the UN-ESCWA Region;” and “Development of Integrated National Air Quality Management Strategies in UN-ESCWA Member States”.
The conference was held in conjunction with the “Environment 2007 Exhibition” where the participation of UN-ESCWA was notable. The Commission’s wing offered the latest publications on energy, water and environment, as well as posters and brochures on the Commission’s activities and assorted projects.
On the last day of the International Conference, UN-ESCWA organized the “Arab Regional Forum on Energy for Sustainable Development: Strategies, Policies and Plans” held in cooperation with the Council of Arab Ministers Responsible for Environment (CAMRE Secretariat), the United Nations Environment Programme-Regional Office for Western Asia (UNEP/ROWA), and the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD).
The Forum brought together a wide range of concerned people to review and update the current plans and progress achieved on Energy for sustainable development and related environmental issues; discuss the cluster of strategies and policies that have been identified preliminarily during the Arab preparations for the fourteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14), in view of the current implementation status and foreseen needs of the region; and consolidate a cluster of recommended strategies and policies to be presented to CSD-15.
National experts from UN-ESCWA member countries participated in this Forum, as well as members of the UN-ESCWA Committee on Energy; national focal points of the “Regional Mechanism on the Development of Energy Uses for Sustainable Development”; members of the Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region (JCEDAR); as well as representatives from the concerned United Nations bodies, Arab regional organizations and other international organizations.