The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) will launch its 30th ministerial session in Lebanon under the auspices of Lebanese President Michel Aoun at the UN House on 27 and 28 June in the presence of high-level Arab and foreign officials.
The ministerial session, titled Technology for sustainable development in the Arab region, will discuss the current challenges that face boosting technology in the Arab region, including high levels of unemployment, unused natural resources, and the issues that lead to conflicts, according to a Sunday press statement from the United Nations Information Centre in Cairo (UNIC).
ESCWA members include Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The Arab countries have achieved some technology progress lately, and the use of internet has increased in the region over the last decade. However, locally-produced IT products and services is still weak, and the Arab market suffers from a skills shortage, noted the statement.
The social and economic suffering in the Arab world is not related only to wars, but also results from being far from the technological revolution, read the statement, adding that the Arab world should experience and benefit from the global technological revolution.
The ESCWA aims, through economic monitoring, research, knowledge management, policy advice, and capacity-building, to help the Arab region attain long-term dynamic growth and equitable development.
The commission should lead the way on economic development and regional integration by identifying looming development challenges and providing the appropriate policy support, according to its website.
The ESCWA ministerial session is held every two years and has been a stage for discussing the needed measures that Arab governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organisations should take in order to be updated with modern technologies, said the statement.
The planned 30th ministerial session will witness three main discussions, where ministers, officials, and academics from the Arab world will participate to define the needed conditions for transferring to technology and eliminating poverty, noted the statement.
Technology is an urgent necessity that contributes to developing the world economy in light of globalisation, added the statement.