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UN; Regional Efforts Vital to Spurring Development

UN’s Regional Efforts Vital to Spurring Development, Migiro Tells Beirut Meeting

A regional approach can help the United Nations advance development in countries that face common challenges, including climate change, the food crisis and HIV/AIDS, Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro told a gathering in Beirut focusing on better coordinating the world body’s work in Western Asia.

“By promoting a region-specific approach to development, by stepping up regional integration, UN agencies working in the Arab world can do so much to address these challenges and link global commitments with national action plans,” Ms. Migiro said on Saturday in an address to the 12th meeting of the Regional Coordination Mechanism, hosted by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).

She noted that the region is emerging as a “true leader in development,” with the Arab countries – and peoples – doing more and more to contribute to one another’s development.

“Undoubtedly, your regional solidarity is a key asset as your countries endeavour to deal with the myriad of challenges they face,” Ms. Migiro stated, adding that this cooperation is particularly important as the region strives to halve poverty and achieve the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the target date of 2015.

Similar to other areas of the world, the Arab region has its own disparities when it comes to progress towards the MDGs, she noted. For example, the Gulf countries are on track to meeting the majority of the Goals, while least developed countries (LDCs), such as Iraq, are “lagging significantly behind.”

“In all your regional endeavours to attain lasting prosperity, rest assured you have support at the very highest level of the United Nations,” Ms. Migiro told the audience.

Crucial to this support is for the various entities of the Organization to “work together, to plan together, and advocate together, building on our respective comparative advantages,” she said, adding that the Regional Coordination Mechanism plays a vital role by setting the foundation for the UN’s efforts.

“Tailored to the specific circumstances of each region, you are setting the pace in how we anticipate, plan and respond to common socio-economic priorities,” she stated. “You are the ties that bind us together, enabling the United Nations to respond coherently and effectively.”


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