Capacity-building activities in the Arab States.
The UN Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS) (Habitat) Training and Capacity-Building Section has been active in several of the Arab States. Beginning in 1995, Belgium funded a 3-year project, "Localising Agenda 21: Action Planning for Sustainable Urban Development," in Essaouira, Morocco. A local team was established, and an Action Planning Consultation Workshop was held in January 1996. Local participants, Belgian experts, and the UNCHS Training and Capacity-Building Section attended the workshop, the goal of which was to guide the town in achieving sustainable development. The experiences from this project will be disseminated throughout the region. In Egypt, the Training and Capacity Building Section has initiated the "Sustainable Ismailia Project," a training program, which may be expanded nationally, for locally elected leadership. The Egyptian government will be responsible for the majority of the implementation funding; training materials are being prepared, and training should begin in 1996. The Palestinian Authority (Gaza Strip), Jordan, Mauritania, and Yemen have requested capacity-building programs. The "Urban Settlements and Management Programme" has requested a training program for Somalia after the country stabilizes. "A Regional Capacity-Building Programme" is being designed for national training institutions in the Arab States; the program will focus on the training of trainers, urban managers, and elected leadership. UNCHS training materials and handbooks are being translated into Arabic. This training was requested by Member States during the 15th session of the Commission on Human Settlements.