As part of their on going effort to identify areas of collaboration and synergizing their capacities to service members, representatives from UN-ESCWA and the Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) held a meeting in Rabat, Morocco, on May 8 and 9, 2007 to formalize the cooperation between the two commissions, and finalize the interim agreement to cooperate in support of the Arab countries in the North African Subregion.
UN-ESCWA was represented by a delegation composed of Mr. Khaled AbdelHamid, Secretary of the commission, andMs. Keiko Chatnilbandh, enior ProgrammeOfficer. UN-ECA was represented by Ms. Karima Bou Nemra Bin Soultan, Director of the Subregional Office for North Africa.
The Cooperation agreement was signed by the Executive Secretaries of both commissions on 30 May, 2007. The Agreement aims to define the broad context for UN-ESCWA-ECA collaboration in implementation of the General Assembly resolution 60/235 of 23 December 2005, in which UN-ECA was requested to strengthen its subregional organizations including the North African Subregion. The purpose of the cooperation is "to support the development efforts of countries in the North African Subregion by sharing knowledge and expertise between UN-ECA and UN-ESWA, encourage South-South cooperation between countries in the North African Subregion and Western Asia, thereby promoting interregional cooperation, promote coherence and synergies of United Nations development work to accelerate regional integration processes in the Arab region in close collaboration with other international and regional organizations, in particular LAS."
UN-ESCWA and UN-ECA agreed to coordinate in the preparation of their respective strategic frameworks and programme budgets, to maximize benefits for the countries of the North African Subregion. Both Commissions decided to pursue the building of partnerships, the implementation of joint activities between member countries in Western Asia and the North African Subregion through tripartite cooperation, and outreach dissemination regarding the role and contribution of each organization to joint activities.
It is worth noting that the Agreement was the last agreement signed by Ms. Mervat Tallawy, ESCWA's former Executive Secretary, during her mandate.