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Amman an 'ideal location' for UNDP's regional hub — official

By Bahaa Al Deen Al Nawas - Nov 09,2015 - Last updated at Nov 09,2015

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh inaugurate the Regional Hub for Arab States in Amman on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The UN Development Programme (UNDP) sees the capital as the "ideal location" for its Regional Hub for Arab States (RHAB), UNDP Administrator Helen Clark said Sunday. 

"[Amman's] central location in the region along with its wealth of local talent, are of enormous benefit to UNDP's work across the Arab states," Clark noted at the inauguration of the RHAB premises.

Clark, who opened the RHAB with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in an official ceremony, said its purpose is to enable the UNDP to support countries in the region to advance human and sustainable development. 

RHAB helps the UNDP follow up with regional challenges as they emerge, and enables it to be "more effective and efficient" with its resources at a time when partners "are eager to see clear value for every investment", according to Clark. 

"Some countries [in the region] are experiencing a challenging mix of major political transitions, entrenched poverty, and ongoing conflicts and crises, all of which have significant impacts on development," she said, adding that UNDP's work to reduce poverty and build resilience to crises "has never been more critical in this region".

In his speech, Judeh said Amman's selection as the location for the hub is "an extremely important message not just to the region but to the rest of the world", reflecting Jordan's stability and security.

The minister noted that he signed the agreement to establish the RHAB with UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States Director Sima Bahous around a year ago, on the sidelines of the 69th UN General Assembly.

Voicing hope that Amman will be the centre of a stable region in the future, Judeh said the Kingdom looks forward to receiving support from the international community. 

"We keep talking about the international community as a singular because we believe that the international community has to act as one," he added.

Also on Sunday, on the sidelines of the inauguration, Bahous and Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) Managing Director Jamal Bin Huwaireb signed a new partnership agreement.

The UNDP and MBRF are currently developing the first Arab Knowledge Index, a summary measure that reflects knowledge accumulation, production and consumption from a development perspective, taking into consideration the specific socio-cultural context, needs and challenges of the Arab region, a joint UNDP-MBRF statement said. 

When the index is released along with the "Knowledge 4 All" digital portal that will be built around it, they will be tools for monitoring and advocating for knowledge-based development in the Arab region, the statement added.

The partnership agreement launches a five-year second phase of the collaborative effort between UNDP and MBRF on the Arab Knowledge Project, a regional programme, which started in 2007.


"This fruitful partnership is inspired by a shared vision of promoting knowledge for sustainable development in the Arab Region," Bahous said after signing the agreement.

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