UN-ESCWA Executive-Secretary Badr Omar AlDafa took part end of August in two UN retreats in Torino, Italy. The first retreat held between 29 and 30 August was the Second Senior Managers Retreat, while the second was the UN Regional Commissions Retreat between 31 August and 2 September.
At the Second Senior Managers Retreat, AlDafa highlighted the challenges of climate change, peace and security, development and the global food crisis, as well as the UN image in the region. The Executive Secretary also tackled operational effectiveness without compromising staff safety. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the Senior Managers Retreat that was attended by dozens of senior United Nations officials.
At the UN Regional Commissions Retreat, AlDafa made an opening statement in which he said that the purpose of the retreat is to take the coordination and relationship among the Regional Commissions a step further by increasing mutual knowledge about the key activities and programmes of the Regional Commissions, exchanging views on various cross-sectoral concerns, and enhancing coordination and inter-regional cooperation. AlDafa gave the opening statement because ESCWA is currently acting as the coordinator of the Regional Commissions effective August 1 2008 until July 31 2009.