The Arab ministers of housing met here on Monday for the 31st session of their ministerial council under the patronage of Jordan's Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour.
A Kuwaiti delegation, headed by Deputy Director General of Public Authority for Housing Welfare (PAHW) Khalaf Al-Mandeel, is participating in the two-day meeting.
In his keynote speech, Ensour expressed his sadness over the conflicts and destruction in the Arab world, especially as the meeting discusses housing and construction, asking about the amount of demolition and the number of people who have been living without homes for many years.
He called on the conferees to thrash out this issue in their meeting's agenda, urging them to adopt a message of accepting and coexisting with the other.
In his speech, Gamal Gaballah, Director of the Arab League Office for Environment, Housing and Sustainable Development, said that the meeting is held at a time when the Arab world is facing unprecedented major challenges, including political complications, terrorism and repeated crises, which have direct impacts on sustainable development pertinent to housing.
The issue of housing is considered a cornerstone in national polices of all Arab countries and providing proper housing units to citizens is a top priority of social and economic policies, he noted.
He emphasized that the housing policy is facing major challenges, including poor urban planning, lack of funding, overpopulation, noting that the private sector is not involved as a main partner in the housing process.
For these reasons, he said, realistic and objective solutions should be found in order to achieve a quantum leap in the housing policy through facilitating measures and involving the private sector in this field.
Gaballah called for designing a comprehensive future strategy of the housing issue in the Arab world through the contributions of experts to guarantee Arab comprehensive strategic aims to meet the Arab world's aspirations.
He stressed that the session's agenda includes significant topics, mainly cooperation with international organizations and the United Nations Human Settlements Program, noting that this move requires preparations for an Arab regional report to be discussed in 2016.
For his part, Sami Halsa, Jordanian Public Works and Housing Minister and the head of the session, said that the Arab League, through the housing ministers' council, has been exerting efforts to strengthen Arab cooperation in all domains.