Mohammed VI Polytechnic University

United Nations Expert Group Meeting at UM6P

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Emerging and Conflict-Related Issues Division Governance and State Building Section Expert Group Meeting on: Good Socio-economic Governance for Conflict Prevention “Socioeconomic and political Repercussions of Macroeconomic Reform Policies in the Arab Region”


June 25-26th – 2019 – Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P), Benguerir, Morocco

Concept Outline :

In light of a new wave of socioeconomic discontent in the Arab region, exemplified by the recent anti-austerity protests in Tunisia, there has been a reexamination of the relationship between economic reform and poverty reduction programs spearheaded by multilateral development banks, and the social and economic problems that countries have experienced. Given the heterogeneous nature of Arab countries, the economic reform strategies originating from the Washington Consensus framework have been rather controversial in their effects in the eyes of many throughout the region. Some analysts argue that the promotion of neoliberal policies starting in the 1980s contributed to the social grievances that led to the 2011 Arab uprisings by binding countries to macroeconomic policies, which did not achieve the much advocated sustainable development or poverty alleviation goals, but rather benefited international and local elites while failing large segments of the population, in particular the working class- resulting in mounting poverty, increasing inequality, and growing marginalization, as exemplified by high unemployment rates and lack of social services. On the other hand, the argument has been made that the success or failure of liberal policies and reform depends largely on how these policies are rolled-out (e.g. timing, sequencing, coverage), and on political-economy factors within the country attempting to reform, such as local buy-in, the strength of economic institutions, domestic political dynamics, or the availability of natural resources. 

In order to explore the debate from multiple perspectives, solicit the views of experts from across and beyond the region, to come up with related policy recommendations, the Emerging and Conflict-Related Issues Division of United Nations -ESCWA and the Mohammed VI University are organizing an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the topic In Ben Guerir, Morocco on 25-26th June 2019

The objectives of the meeting include:

  • Explore how advocated liberal macroeconomic policies  impact development and how to design policies that promote social justice, socio-economic and support the achievement of Agenda 2030;
  • Discuss key challenges associated with implementing structural reforms in the political and social contexts of the Arab countries;
  • Discuss lessons learned since the 2011 uprisings, and share experiences and international and regional good practice examples on how to pursue inclusive economic and social development, in order to avoid conflict eruption or relapse.

For additional information or questions, please do not hesitate to contact: 

Dr. Youness AbouyoubChief, Governance and State Building Section

Emerging and Conflict-Related Issues Division

UNITED NATIONS – ESCWA, P.O. Box 11-8575, Riad el-Solh, Beirut – Lebanon


M. Jamal AZIZI, PhdEconomist-Researcher, Chaire EIEA

Address: Lot 660, Hay Moulay Rachid, Ben Guerir 43150


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