|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN MESSAGE TO MINISTERIAL SESSION OF WESTERN ASIA COMMISSION,
STRESSES ITS ROLE IN PROMOTING COOPERATION, ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message to the twenty-fifth Ministerial Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), delivered by Bader Omar al-Dafa, Executive Secretary of ESCWA, in Sana’a, Yemen, today, 28 May:
It gives me great pleasure to send greetings and best wishes to all participants in the twenty-fifth Ministerial Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia.
The ESCWA region has experienced a period of growing political tensions and intense conflicts. It has also suffered from broader regional dynamics that perpetuate instability and insecurity. These unfortunate circumstances have adversely affected the region’s socio-economic development and widened disparities. They have underscored the need for greater and improved regional cooperation and economic integration.
ESCWA is well placed to advance this goal. As an impartial body promoting universal values, it can help the Western Asia region meet emerging economic and social challenges. In this context, I welcome your selection of two pressing issues -- financing for development and the Millennium Development Goals -- for discussion in Sana’a.
In just a few months, the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development will take place in Doha, Qatar, from 29 November to 2 December 2008. Your deliberations can help build momentum for the Qatar Conference and lay the groundwork for a successful outcome.
At the same time, you can make crucial contributions towards regional efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals in full and on time. We are now past the midpoint in the race to achieve these development targets, yet too many countries already lag behind. ESCWA’s research and technical support can help regional Governments focus their efforts and resources on key areas and make up for lost time.
ESCWA has an important catalytic role to play in Western Asia’s progress, and in helping to make globalization a positive force for all the region’s people. I am, therefore, pleased to learn that you will be considering the request by Sudan to join the Commission. I welcome this step as a further reflection of the faith of member countries in this body, and of their commitment to regional integration.
I thank ESCWA for its valuable contributions and offer my best wishes for a productive session.
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