By Michel Cousins.
Tripoli, 18 September:
Libya, along with Tunisia and Morocco, was formally welcomed as a member the UN’s Economic and Social . . .[restrict]Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) at a ceremony in Beirut yesterday, Tuesday.
The organization, one of the UN’s five regional commissions, is in the process of changing, from having a west Asian basis to an Arab one.
The Libyan flag was formally raised, also with those of the two other north African states, outside the ESCWA’s headquarters on Beirut. The ceremony was attended by Libya’s interim representative, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Planning Ali Ahmed Saleh.
The three countries applied to join ESCWA in May. Their requests were approved by the UN Economic and Social Council at its meeting in New York in July.
Speaking at the flag raising ceremony to welcome the new memebrs, ESCWA’s Executive Secretary, Rima Khalaf, said that Arab economic social and cultural integration was no longer a dream. It was “a strategic choice and a fundamental prerequisite of an Arab renaissance” which would ensure security and welfare the Arab people.
“Joining the Commission will not only have a positive impact on Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, but also on the other countries of the region”, she said. It would not only strengthen Arab states’ capacity to harmonise goals and programmes with the priorities of the region but would also bring them closer into line with other regional organisations, notably the Arab League.
“Libya today is creating a new economy and realising the sustainable development and the well-being for present and future generations”, said Salah after the Libyan flag was raised. “Libya has been isolated from the international community for the last four decades. However, it becomes today an active and strong member (of ESCWA), contributing effectively to the integration of member countries in order to enhance cooperation prospects in the various fields related to economic and social development.”