With the Arab region displaying enormous potential for growth and development, the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised the re-opening of the Ibn Khaldun Centre for Development Studies and emphasized its influential role in the region.
"This event marks a significant step towards strengthening democracy and development in Egypt and the Arab world," Mr. Annan said in a message to the ceremony marking the re-opening of the Centre.
Mr. Annan noted that the second Arab Human Development Report, which will be issued in September 2003, would focus on the question of knowledge. "Access to knowledge can promote skills, employment, trade, education and the wealth of a society in every dimension, especially in coming generations," he said in the message, delivered on his behalf by Chris Czerwinski, Representative of the World Food Programme and United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt.
Mr. Annan stressed that the Centre plays a key role in advancing knowledge and development in the region by cultivating a well-informed and responsible citizenship, setting an example of peaceful dialogue and building on the momentum generated by the first Arab Human Development Report.