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International and Regional Inter-Arab Cooperation

Title of the Session

International and Regional Inter-Arab Cooperation

Time and Venue

15th June 2015, Al-Azhar Park – 4:30 pm-6:00 pm


On the global development scene, the United Nations and the international community are working on defining the Post-2015 Agenda, targeting 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will replace and pursue the effort of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2016 till 2030.

The Goal 11, among the SDGs, explicitly points “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. It responds to the current global trend of rapid urbanization since nowadays 50% of the world’s 7 billion people live in cities. By 2050, this will rise to 70%. Cities are home to extreme deprivation and environmental degradation with one billion people living in slums. At the same time, roughly 75% of global economic activity is urban, and as the urban population grows, so will the urban share of global GDP and investments. The Goal 11 on “sustainable urbanization” is essential to harness the unique potential of cities to respond to the major threats humanity will face in the coming decades. Cities represent both the greatest challenge and the greatest hope for a sustainable future.

As Egypt is expecting rapid urbanization in the coming thirty years, various actors in Egypt have become involved in the urban development sector. This session explores how international and regional actors can channel their resources and expertise to support sustainable urbanization in Egypt. Secondly, the session discusses how to set up knowledge exchange networks on a regional and international scale and how Egypt can integrate into these networks. This session further explores how international actors can encourage, support, and design context-specific mechanisms for south-south cooperation within the Arab region.

Objectives of the session

  • Provide a better understanding of the role of international organizations involved in the urban development sector in Egypt
  • Explore how regional and international actors can collaborate with local stakeholders (NGOs and Local Governments) in Egypt
  • Promote south-south cooperation mechanisms


  • Miguel Angel Moratinos, former Special Envoy of the European Union in the Middle-East and former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Spain (Spain)
  • Mr Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat
  • Teresa Caldeira, University of Berkeley (USA)
  • Shahira Wahba, League of Arab States (Egypt)
  • Mohamed Baba, Deputy Mayor of Saida (Lebanon)
  • Tahar Ouerdeni, Center for Studies, Training and Decentralization Support CEFAD (Tunisia)
  • Balakrishna Menon , The World Bank (Egypt)
  • Mr Adrien Licha, UCLG-MEWA (Turkey)


  • Egypt Habitat Committee representatives
  • Public central and local authorities and agencies
  • Academia
  • Civil society organizations
  • Private sector companies
  • International Organizations and Donors
  • Media

Moderator: Mrs Delphine Al-Dahdah, UN-Habitat Egypt

Format of the session

04:30 – 04:45 

Q1- How can European and Arab Countries can support sustainable urbanization in Egypt?
Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, Diplomat, Special Envoy of the European Union in the Middle-East and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Spain
Mrs Shahira Wahba, League of Arab States

02:20 – 02:50

Q2- What are the cooperation mechanisms provided by Mayors and Local Governments Networks?
Mr Adrien Licha, United Cities and Local Governments Middle-East and West Asia (UCLG-MEWA)
Mr Mohamed Baba, Deputy-Mayor of Saida (Lebanon)

02:50 – 03:15

Q3- How to build knowledge exchange networks in the urban development sector?
Dr Teresa Caldeira, University of Berkeley
Dr Tahar Ouerdeni, CEFAD, Tunisia

03:15 – 03:30

Q4- What can we learn from urban development global best practices? 
Mr Joan Clos, UN-Habitat Executive Director
Mr Balakrishna Menon, The World Bank, Egypt

03:30 – 4:00

Discussions and Recommendations on way forward