United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

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United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
UN ESCWA 2015.png
Map showing member states of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia`
Abbreviation ESCWA
Formation August 9, 1973
Type Primary Organ - Regional Branch
Legal status Active
Headquarters Beirut, Lebanon
Head

Executive Secretary of ESCWA

Rima Khalaf
 Jordan
(2010 - )
Parent organization
ECOSOC
Website ESCWA Website

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) [Arabic]: (الإسكوا), headquartered in Beirut, Lebanon, is one of five regional commissions under the administrative direction of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. ESCWA promotes economic and social development of Western Asia through regional and subregional cooperation and integration. It devises, promotes, and executes development assistance activities and projects in tune with the needs and priorities of the region of Western Asia. ESCWA coordinates its activities with those of the major departments/offices of the United Nations at Headquarters and of specialized agencies and intergovernmental organizations, such as the League of Arab States, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, with a view to avoid duplication and ensure complementarity, synergy and exchange of information. ESCWA has 18 member states (the latest countries to join were Mauritania in 2015;[1] Libya, Morocco and Tunisia in 2012), and reports to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

History[edit]

UN ESCWA Headquarters are located in Beirut, Lebanon.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) was first established in 1973 as the UN Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA). It was established by Economic and Social Council resolution 1818 (LV) and was the successor to United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut (UNESOB). The organization's name was changed from Economic Commission for Western Asia (ECWA) to Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in 1985.

Former ESCWA Executive Secretaries:

Member states[edit]

Locations[edit]

ESCWA headquarters is in Downtown Beirut, Lebanon, near the Grand-Serail – the headquarters of Lebanese Prime Minister – and the Parliament.

Funding[edit]

The administrative budget of ESCWA is funded from the financial resources of the United Nations, the major portion of which comes from the contributions of member States. Detailed expenditures are allocated to various sections for pre-determined purposes.

Furthermore, ESCWA receives additional financial resources from outside the regular budget, which are used to implement specific projects in accordance with agreements reached with governmental and non-governmental donors. The amount of these resources varies from one period of time to another, depending on numerous considerations and circumstances.

Israel-Palestine report controversy[edit]

On March 15, 2017, UNESCWA released a report accusing Israel (not a UNESCWA member state) of being an "apartheid regime" due to Israel's relations with Palestinians both inside and outside Israel.[2] This report proved controversial, and it was ultimately withdrawn and removed from UN websites after criticism from the Secretary General that it had been issued by ESCWA without approval.[3]

The document was authored by Richard Falk, professor of International Law and Practice Emeritus at Princeton University and a former U.N. human rights investigator for the Palestinian territories, and Virginia Tilley, professor of Political Science at Southern Illinois University.[4] Rima Khalaf, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the ESCWA, had said it was the first to accuse Israel of being a racist state.[dubious ][citation needed] The report itself said it had established on the "basis of scholarly inquiry and overwhelming evidence, that Israel is guilty of the crime of apartheid". Israel has condemned the report. "We expected of course that Israel and its allies would put huge pressure on the secretary general of the UN so that he would disavow the report, and that they would ask him to withdraw it," Khalaf said to AFP.[5]

The UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had distanced himself from the report [6] and the document was removed from UN website on Friday, March 17, 2017.[7] The report Executive Summary was also deleted from the United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL) [8]

On March 17, Khalaf submitted her resignation to Mr Guterres. "I resigned because it is my duty not to conceal a clear crime, and I stand by all the conclusions of the report," she stated.[9]

The full report is still available on Archive.org.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ECOSOC Resolution 2015/32 on the admission of Mauritania
  2. ^ ESCWA Launches Report on Israeli Practices Towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, 15 March 2017.
  3. ^ Times of Israel Staff and AFP (March 17, 2017). "UN chief orders report accusing Israel of 'apartheid' pulled from web". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  4. ^ Israel imposes 'apartheid regime' on Palestinians: U.N. report. Reuters, March 16, 2017.
  5. ^ UN's Rima Khalaf quits over report accusing Israel of apartheid. BBC News, 17 March 2017.
  6. ^ Times of Israel Staff and AFP (March 17, 2017). "UN chief orders report accusing Israel of 'apartheid' pulled from web". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  7. ^ Times of Israel Staff and Agencies (March 17, 2017). "Head of UN body resigns as her group's anti-Israel report is withdrawn". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved March 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid - ESCWA Report Executive Summary (15 March 2017)". The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL). March 15, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  9. ^ UN official resigns after pressure to withdraw Israel apartheid report. By Ali Abunimah. The Electronic Intifada, 17 March 2017.
  10. ^ "Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid - ESCWA Report (15 March 2017)" (PDF). The United Nations Information System on the Question of Palestine (UNISPAL). March 15, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 16, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 33°53′41″N 35°30′08″E / 33.8946°N 35.5021°E / 33.8946; 35.5021