Economic and social policies to be focus of UN ministerial meeting for

The twenty-third ministerial session of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) will be held from 9 to 12 May, and is expected to, among other things, feature the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on maritime transport cooperation in the Arab Mashreq.On the heels of respective agreements on international roads and international railways in the Arab Mashreq, the new measure aims to bolster economic cooperation and integration, and acknowledge the importance of maritime transport in serving and enhancing intra-regional trade.The 13-member regional group also plans to consider ways to enhance its cooperation with the League of Arab States. A number of major studies and reports are scheduled to be launched during the session, including the annual review of developments in globalization and regional integration in the ESCWA region, and a report on the situation of Arab women, 10 years after the historic Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.As an organ of the UN system, ESCWA seeks to facilitate economic and social cooperation among the countries of the region in order to achieve regional integration. It also seeks to harmonize the policies of its member countries in various sectors, including water, energy, industry, agriculture and technology.

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