Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative

Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative
Thursday, June 19, 2014
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The Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) has recentlylaunched a report entitled Arab Integration: A 21st Century Development Imperative

The report is the result of a collaborative ESCWA initiative that involved a group of distinguished Arab thinkers from various disciplines, occupations, and backgrounds, reflecting the diversity of the Arab region — a diversity which, the report argues, should form the basis of integration.

The report points to the common language, culture, history and geographical proximity of the Arab countries in making the case for integration as a prerequisite for human development and Arab renaissance. It refers to contemporary examples of regional integration in other parts of the world which have resulted in achievements that would have remained beyond the reach of individual States. The report notes that the Arab region, with its history of fragmentation and flawed policy choices, has been left vulnerable to oppression, foreign intervention and stifled development; it is a legacy that the authors insist can only be overcome through regional integration.

The report lays out a strategic vision for achieving Arab integration across the spectrum of political, economic, social, public and cultural life. While accepting that consensus is not possible on every detail, the authors assert that this strategy is an integration road map with a record of delivering security, stability and prosperity to other countries with less in common than those of the Arab region.

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