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Sustainable development eyed – Region in talks

AMMAN, Dec 21, (KUNA): Officials of regional States including Kuwait have grouped in a convention in the Jordanian capital addressing broad issues of joint concern namely challenges facing sustainable economic and social development. Noting significance of the meeting, held within framework of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), a participating Kuwaiti official said the two-day convention would address social protection systems in Arab countries – that covers social cohesion and justice.

Nabil Al-Abduljelil, the assistant undersecretary at the Kuwaiti Ministry of Finance, underscored in a statement to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) at start of ESCWA’s two-day extraordinary meeting that kicked off earlier on Saturday need in Arab countries for high-quality social services that should also be in harmony with labor market policies.

In ESCWA’s references, social protection covers three core components: Social and health insurance, social assistance (cash transfers, child benefits, subsidies) and basic public healthcare services. Other issues in the meeting agenda, he has added, are endorsing Algeria and Somalia as new members and the “Belt and Road Initiative” (China-inspired “Silk Road” grand project), “which is a multidimension venture that affects various domains namely international trade and transport.”

Conferees are also looking into what has been implemented among 17 objectives of sustainable development, issued at the third sustainable conference, hosted by Addis Ababa in 2015, Abduljelil added in the remarks to the Kuwaiti news agency.

Moreover, they are debating role of the private sector in labor markets and preparations for the UN climate conference due in 2020. The meeting was inaugurated with a speech addressed by Dr Rola Dashti (Kuwaiti), ESCWA’s general secretary, who urged the conferees to ensure that the gathering ends with tangible outcome.

Meanwhile, Jordanian Minister of Planning Wissam Al-Rabdi drew the participants’ attention to the need to tackle vital regional issues such as water scarcity, climate change, immigration, challenges emanating from the industrial revolution and regional economic problems.

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