Putting an end to poverty by 2030 is the chief challenge facing the Arab region, head of the Arab League's Sustainable Development Department Nada Al-Agizi said Sunday.
In an interview with KUNA, Al-Agizi called for mustering national, regional, and international efforts to counter poverty, as a guarantee for achieving sustainable development.
A forthcoming meeting with heads of the Arab financial institutions will discuss how they can contribute to realizing sustainable development in the underdeveloped Arab nations, she said Yet, she stressed the necessity to consider the special conditions in some Arab countries, calling for a balanced merge of the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of development.
Al-Agizi underlined the dire need for "actual solutions" to conflicts sweeping the region. For her, there was no alternative to peace and security in the Arab region to achieve the aspired sustainable development.
The Arab League can be the regional reference for the national plans and initiatives of development, following up the progress of achieving the goals and supporting countries' capabilities to provide mechanisms and infrastructure of data and statistics necessary for planning, exchanging expertise, and regular assessment, she said.
The Arab region has made noticeable progress in various fields comprised on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially in health and education, she said.
However, there were setbacks and obstacles, including the relatively weak performance of the world economy, the inadequate financing directed to social policiesm, as well as the rising political tensions and conflicts, the Arab League's official said.
Unfortunately, many Arab countries have failed to achieve the MDGs by 2015 due to unrest and conflicts, she noted. Amid the internal crises and external threats, the Arab countries have no other choice but to adopt the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to work hard to succeed, Al-Agizi said.
A host of Arab countries have drawn up their own sustainable development plans, or merged the 2030 goals in them, she said.