The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) opens its 6th session in Beirut on Wednesday, 19/5/2010, sponsored by President of the Lebanese Parliament Nabih Barri. The two-day ministerial meeting will be chaired by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan represented by Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Jafar Hassan. It will be preceded by technical meetings on Monday and Tuesday, the 17th and 18th of May 2010.
The Ministerial Committee, ESCWA's main decision-making body, holds its meetings biennially. Wednesday's session will bring together representatives of the organisation's 14 member nations at the ministerial level in addition to UN organizations, a number of non-ESCWA UN members, governmental and non-governmental organisations, donor organisations and institutions, experts at the regional level, academics and youth organizations as well as Arab youth groups, officials from the host country and accredited embassies and high-profile figures.
The session will primarily tackle "the role of Arab youth and their empowerment" as a major topic due to the importance of the youth issue for regional states. It will discuss the Youth Action International programme until 2000 and after, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1995. The programme provides guidelines for national action and international support to improve the status of the youth and recommends adoption of policies and measures to develop them, sustain their self-efficacy and create proper opportunities for them.
The commission will also debate the general policy in the ESCWA region and building human and institutional capacity plus higher management issues and the secretary general's executive report on the commission's activities. Other agenda issues are setting up ESCWA's regional technology centre expected to be hosted by Jordan, key topics related to ESCWA's functions and programmes as well as topics to crystallize economic and social development policies in member countries.