Opening the 19th session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs in Cairo yesterday, chairman of the session Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Dr. Ali Bin Ibrahim Al-Namlah conveyed greetings from Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz, and drew attention to the need to strengthen joint Arab operations in the area of social welfare, and to exchange expertise in order to resolve problems. He urged clear and comprehensive strategies to face the challenges of globalization, and coordination with Arab research centers and universities to realize greater integration in financial and human efforts.
At the end of its deliberations today, the council assigned the technical secretariat of the League of Arab States to draw up a plan on strategy, to be discussed at the next meeting. The council also resolved to donate $50,000 to the Ministry of Social Affairs in Djibouti to alleviate the impact of the drought there, and praised a recent workshop in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) devoted to rationalizing sign language for the deaf in the Arab world.
Resolutions passed by the ministers include: to hold a second meeting of the Arab Committee on the Elderly; to convene a workshop on rationalization of Arabic braille for the blind; to organize a debate on vocational rehabilitation for the disabled; to hold another workshop to finalize the unified Arabic dictionary of sign language; and to organize a symposium and a program of exchange visits for young people.
The meeting urged member states to be present at the preparatory meetings and extraordinary sessions of the United Nations General Assembly, one, to follow up on the Copenhagen conference on social development, scheduled for Geneva in June 2000, and two, to follow up on the Beijing conference on women, scheduled for New York in May 2000.