AFED participated as observer in the 30th Ministerial Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) that convened in Beirut under the theme, ‘Technology for Sustainable Development in the Arab Region'. The biennial meeting comprised two segments: the senior officials segment (25-26 June), and the ministerial segment (27-28 June). The meeting served as a platform to discuss critical actions required from governments, the private sector and civil society in Arab countries in response to emerging technologies. The goal is to maximize the benefits for sustainable development and lower risks of abuse and possible negative impact, working with governments in the Arab region.
Three moderated roundtables generated discussions with policymakers, civil society leaders, as well as representatives from the private sector, academia and youth on: integrating technology and innovation into national development planning; the role of technology in tackling the challenges of the Arab region; and frontier technologies: opportunities, challenges and the way forward. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss with government delegates contents of the forthcoming AFED report and conference, scheduled for November. Tunisia was elected as Chair of the 30th session, replacing Qatar. The session ended with a declaration which renewed commitments towards achieving development goals in the Arab region.
Dr. Adnan Shihabeldin, Director General of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) and member of AFED Board of Trustees, was panelist in a high-level session on Emerging Technologies.