Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul-Gheit participated in the opening of the eighth session of the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development that was organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) at its headquarters in Beirut in cooperation with the Arab League (AL) and a number of partners.
According to a statement issued by the AL, Aboul-Gheit praised the efforts of the ESCWA and its keenness to strengthen cooperation with the AL to achieve the goals of sustainable development.
In his speech, Aboul-Gheit pointed to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which has placed additional burdens on Arab countries and caused the loss of many of the gains they made before the pandemic.
In particular, he pointed to the alarming rise in the numbers of poverty and hunger in the Arab world and the risks to the security and stability of societies.
Furthermore, Aboul-Gheit warned of the deterioration of Arab food security figures due to the effects of the pandemic, water scarcity, and climate change.
In this regard, he added that the war in Ukraine will also have repercussions on the Arab region due to the conflict prompting a spike in the global prices of grain, commodities, and energy materials.
The secretary-general pointed out that the Ministerial Council at the AL is aware of the seriousness of these situations and issued at its last meeting a decision to prepare an integrated strategic study on Arab food security.
This study will be presented in the next Arab Summit in Algeria, or within the files of the fifth Development Summit, which is scheduled for early next year in Mauritania.
On recovery policies, Aboul-Gheit stressed the importance of capacity building of institutions, promoting sustainable economic choices, increasing investment in human capital, as well as smart changes to expenditures.
He also touched on the latest developments of the AL’s efforts in the field of sustainable development, referring to the Arab initiative to eradicate hunger and the launch of the Arab Network for Science and Technology for Sustainable Development.
It should be noted that the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development addressed, for the second consecutive year, the issue of recovery from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and also reviewed the efforts of Arab countries in the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.