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Exclusive - Arab League Official: Beirut Summit Targets Youth Development

Exclusive - Arab League Official: Beirut Summit Targets Youth Development

Wednesday, 16 January, 2019 - 06:30
The organizing committee of the Arab economic summit in Beirut. (NNA)
Cairo – Sawsan Abou Hussein
Assistant to the Arab League secretary general for social affairs Haifa Abou Ghazaleh stated that the upcoming Arab economic development summit in Beirut will tackle youth issues.

She told Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting will focus on the youth “as they are the main factor in the development drive.”

“The summit will be different than its predecessors because it will be based on the strategic Arab goal of eliminating poverty and focusing on reconstruction,” she added.

It will also tackle conflicts in the region.

The economic and social council will convene on Friday, while Saturday will witness the arrival of Arab leaders and delegations. The main summit will take place on Sunday and it will also witness a handover of the presidency from Saudi Arabia to Lebanon, explained Abou Ghazaleh.

She said that senior figures will attend the summit, adding that preparations had been made through youth and civil society forums.

These gatherings stressed the importance of solidarity among Arab leaders to promote holding dialogue on regional issues, she went on to say.

Moreover, representatives of the youth and civil society will have an opportunity to address the summit to put forward their goals and ambitions, she revealed.

The summit will focus on investing in human capital and its results will impact political, economic, social and environmental issues for years to come, Abou Ghazaleh said. The gatherers will highlight five sectors that are integral for humanity: people, the planet, prosperity, peace and partnership “and translating them into bold strategies on the regional and international levels”

By focusing on the above elements, the summit will underline the importance of people in development, she stressed.

Issues that will be tackled include innovation and bolstering economic and social programs, she added. The Arab world is facing many challenges in the health and development sectors. It is also suffering from poverty, chronic diseases, climate change, and environment and social disasters caused by wars, conflicts and crises.

Moreover, Abou Ghazaleh said that the empowerment of women, protecting children and supporting the role of the family must be priorities at the summit, while also placing importance on the role of the private sector and civil society.

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