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Meeting in Beirut, UN agencies discuss regional development, peace-building

Meeting in Beirut, UN agencies discuss regional development, peace-building

Over a dozen United Nations agencies meeting in Lebanon today discussed the need for economic and social development in order to consolidate peace-building efforts in the region.

The annual meeting of the UN Regional Coordination Group, held at the Beirut headquarters of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), explored how the 13 participating agencies could better coordinate their role in solidifying sustainable development and contributing to peace-building.

Mindful of the special significance of peace-building for the region that has long suffered from armed conflicts and civil strife, the participants responded to the challenge with a number of specific proposals, ESCWA said. One of them included a proposal to establish an early warning system that would provide an alert of tensions before conflicts erupt.

Participants also considered increasing their efforts to advocate a culture of peace in the region, including through the possible establishment of a centre for peace-building that would provide training in humanitarian principles and conflict prevention.

According to ESCWA, the agencies considered capitalizing on experience gained by war-stricken countries like Lebanon in weathering adversities associated with conflict by documenting what lessons have been learned from this experience and sharing them with other countries.