Prince Talal heads the meetings of the trustees of CAWTAR and the “Five Sisters” committee in Tunisia
Al-Qahtani: AGFUND inculcates its model by promoting the institutionalization of Arab development The Arab Gulf Programme for United Nations Development Organizations (AGFUND) organizes a developmental activity in the Tunisian capital which streamlines with the promotion of organizational development. While holding the meetings of the board of trustees of the Center of Arab Woman for Training and Research “CAWTAR” presided by Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, President of the Arab Gulf Programme, on December 14, 2009, on the fifteenth of December, Tunisia shall witness the third meeting of the offshoot developmental organizations of AGFUND with the aim of promoting mutual cooperation between the organizations headed by Prince Talal. The Executive Manager of AGFUND, Nasser Al-Qahtani, pointed out that the Tunisia meetings are specifically important due to their expected outcomes which shall push forward the institutionalization of the Arab development and assess the materialized achievements. Al-Qahtani drew attention that AGFUND, under the leadership of Prince Talal, and in an early stage, has realized the significance of institutionalizing developmental work because institutionalization allows for participation through ideas and experiments and provides a proper atmosphere for integrated visions, exchange of experiences, and working within a framework of transparency. Such conviction with institutionalization was proven to be feasible with the passage of time. This concept became a global tendency which the UN supports. Even more, the UN puts high hopes on such concept in achieving the developmental objectives of the millennium. Al-Qahtani asserted that AGFUND concentrates its efforts on establishing its developmental model through promoting the institutionalization of Arab development and building its structures. With this perception in mind, AGFUND realized that much of the developmental shortage in the Arab societies is attributed to the absence or willful alienation of women from contributing to the development of the society. Hence, women came in the forefront of AGFUND organizational work with the aim of modifying misconceptions on the Arab women and manifesting their developmental role through economically empowering them. Although most AGFUND projects are oriented towards women and family generally, the initiative of establishing the Center of Arab Woman for Training and Research “CAWTAR” clearly reflected the status of women in the developmental strategy of AGFUND. When establishing CAWTAR, AGFUND managed to attract to its initiative a number of global, international and local organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme “UNDP”, representatives of the Tunisian government, the Arab League, the United Nations Population Fund “UNPF”, the United Nations Development Fund for Women “UNIFEM”, the World Bank and the International Planned Parenthood Federation. CAWTAR objectives are based on the principle of “knowledge is the basis of development”. Therefore, CAWTAR shall contribute to developing a new approach for the Arab woman, changing the traditional perspective towards the roles of both sexes in societal development, raising the level of the awareness of policy makers, planners, relevant and interested groups, and stakeholder organizations with regards to the current status of the Arab woman and her possible and actual participation in the comprehensive and sustainable development. The Center also aims at contributing to promoting the abilities of the Arab governments and the civil society organizations to analyze variables in the roles of both sexes, drawing proper policies and preparing programs and projects which allow for the rapprochement of the social gender. It is expected that the meeting of CAWTAR Board of Trustees shall issue decisions which promote the Center privileges and roles in favor of the Arab woman. The Executive Manager of AGFUND pointed out that the coincidence of this meeting with the third meeting of the organizations sponsored by Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz supports such expectation. Al-Qahtani added that the five organizations are CAWTAR, the Arab Council for Childhood and Development “ACCD”, the Arab Network for NGOs, the Arab Open University, and Banks for the Poor. Through the high committee of promoting developmental partnership among them, these five organizations shall discuss the best means for coordination and realization of objectives via consolidation and integration of plans, programs and projects in a manner that supports common objectives and visions.