ESCWA post-war meeting on Iraq calls for stronger UN role
The meeting on "Iraq and the Region after the War", organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in cooperation with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), concluded Friday, July 11, at the United Nations House, Riad Solh Square, Beirut by reaching consensus on four comprehensive recommendations.
Participants in the meeting considered that the role of the UN should not be limited to the humanitarian sphere, noting that due to its wide international experience an active participation of the international organization in the political as well as the socio-economic sphere would provide a valuable contribution to the process of the rehabilitation of Iraq.
Participants also encouraged Arab states, international organizations such ESCWA, the World Bank, UNDP, as well as regional organizations such as the League of Arab States (LAS) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to play a role in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts.
It was agreed that Iraqi human resources should be fully involved in the reconstruction of Iraq, both on the levels of planning and implementation of the reconstruction plans. It was also agreed that rehabilitation and reform should not be limited to the administrative and governmental structures in Iraq but should encompass Iraqi society at the grass root level, and in cooperation with the representatives of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
"Iraq, unlike the Gulf States and Arab oil producers has the potential to build a diversified economic base. There is a great potential for efficient agricultural activities once agricultural land could be reclaimed and rehabilitated and water rights secured," said Chief Economic Analysis Division at ESCWA, Atef Kubursi.
The call for this unprecedented three-day meeting in the Arab region, was an ESCWA initiative to respond to other international initiatives concerning various schemes and methodologies for the reconstruction of Iraq, after many wars and long years of embargo and isolation; most of these initiatives were neglecting the regional perspective and the views of experts from Iraq and the region. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)