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Annual Conference of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED)
Financing Sustainable Development
in Arab Countries

8-9 November 2018
Le Bristol Hotel Beirut - Lebanon

Conference Agenda




Under the Patronage of H.E. Mr. Saad Hariri


8:00-9:00 Registration

9:00-10:00 Opening  

  • Welcome: H.E. Dr. Adnan Badran, Chairman, AFED Board of Trustees, former PM, Jordan
  • AFED Work Report 2018: Najib Saab, Secretary General, AFED
  • H.E. Fuad Siniora, Former PM, Lebanon – Keynote
  • H.E. Taoufik Rajhi, Minister at the Prime Minister's Office in Charge of Large-Scale Reforms, Tunisia

- AFED Lifetime Achievement Award
- Testimonial: Suleiman Al-Herbish, Director General (2003-2018), OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID)

10:00-10:30 Networking Break

10:30-12:00 Session 1
AFED Report Presentation & High-Level Debate

  • Presentation: Dr. Ibrahim Abdelgelil, (Senior Adviser, AFED) and Dr. Niranjan Sarangi (Senior Economic Officer, ESCWA) - Representing AFED report authors
  • Statements and Comments:

Dr. Adnan Shehab Eldin, Director General, Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences; Dr. Saad Andary, Vice Governor, Banque du Liban;  Mr.  Jos Verbeek, World Bank Special Representative to WTO and UN in Geneva; Ms. Roula Majdalani, Deputy Executive Secretary, ESCWA; Dr. Taher Shakhshir, Former Minister of Environment, CEO, ODC, Jordan.

12:00-13:00 Session 2
Challenges and Opportunities in Financing SDGs : Role of Development Funds and Banks

  • Dr. Abdulkarim Sadik, Senior Economic Adviser, Kuwait Fund- KFAED and AFED report Co-Editor (Moderator)
  • Ms. Tessa Terpstra, MENA Regional Envoy for Water & Energy Security, Netherlands
  • Dr. Rami Ahmad,  Special Envoy on SDGs and Senior Advisor to the President, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB)
  • Mr. Anthony Cox, Deputy Director, Environment Directorate, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)
  • Dr. Mattia Romani, Managing Director, Economics, Policy, and Governance Department, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

13:00-13:30 Special Presentation: OECD Initiative- Investing in Climate, Investing in Growth
Followed by Discussion

13:30-14:30 Lunch and Networking - Hosted by OECD

 14:30-15:30 Session 3
Financing Sustainable Energy

  • Ms. Glada Lahn, Senior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House - The Royal Institute, London (Moderator)

-  Dr. Ibrahim Abdelgelil, Adjunct Professor, Arabian Gulf University, Bahrain, and co-author, AFED report

  • Dr. Osamah Alsayegh, Executive Director, Energy and Building Research Center, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR)
  • Dr. Ahmed Badr, Executive Director, Regional Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (RCREEE), Cairo

-  Ms. Shada El-Sharif, Director, Jordan Environment Fund, Amman
- Mr. Faris Hassan, Director of Research, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) (Discussant)

15:30-16:30 Session 4
The Business Case for Financing Sustainable Development

  • H.E. Khaled Irani, CEO, e2e, Former Minister of Environment & Energy, Jordan (Moderator)
  • Mr. William Saab, Director, New Foresight - Sustainable Business Consultants, The Netherlands
  • Dr. Leila Dagher, Director, Institute of Financial Economics, AUB
  • Mr. Jean Trabulsi, Head of Marketing & Communications, Bank Audi 

-  Ms. Hana Rida, PhD researcher, Sustainable Development Graduate Program, University of Bahrain, former investment banker


9:00-10:00 Session 5
Aligning the Financial Systems with SDGs

  • Mr. Hussein Abaza, Adviser to the Minister of Planning, Egypt, and Former Chief of Trade Division, UNEP, Geneva (Moderator)
  • H.E. Dr. Saad Andary, Vice Governor, Banque du Liban
  • Mr.  Jos Verbeek, World Bank Special Representative to WTO and UN in Geneva
  • Ms. Amal El Araby, Manager, Sustainable Development, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Cairo
  • Dr. Mazen Soueid, Chief Economist, Bankmed, Beirut

10:00-11:00 Session 6
Financing Development by Fighting Corruption

  • Dr. Nassif Hitti, Former Ambassador, Director, Higher Institute of Political and Administrative Sciences, USEK, Kaslik, Lebanon (Moderator)
  •  Mr. Patrick Moulette, Head of Anti-Corruption Division, Organization for Economic Cooperation and  Development (OECD)
  • Mr. Moctar El-Hacene, Director, Economic Development & Integration, ESCWA
  • Mr. Arkan El-Seblani, Chief Technical Advisor on Anti-Corruption and Integrity, UNDP Regional Hub for the Arab States
  • Ayman Dandash, Programs Manager, Lebanese Transparency Association – National member, Transparency International

11:00-11:30 Networking Break

11:30-12:30 Session 7
Access to Finance for Green Economy Entrepreneurs
Presentation of Success Stories - In cooperation with SwitchMed, Barcelona

  • Ms. Claudia Pani, Project Manager SwitchMed – Green Entrepreneurship, SCP/RAC, UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan – Barcelona Convention (Moderator)
  • Special Presentation: Mr. Julien Le Tellier, Programme Management Officer - Socio-Economic Affairs, UN Environment/Mediterranean Action Plan - Barcelona Convention Secretariat
  • Mr. Marc Aoun, CubeX Business Developer, Mr. Hussam Hanouni, Chief Technology Officer, FabricAid,
    Ms. Soumaya Merhi, Taqa CEO, Ms. Michelle Mouracade, Country Director, Alfanar, Lebanon,
    Ms. Tracy El Achkar, Project Manager, Diane Foundation, Mr. Fadi Naffah, Program Manager, Agrytech

12:30-12:40 Special Presentation: ROGP Technology, a Tale of Guilty Plastics, Mohamed Daoud, CEO, Development Inc.

12:40-13:00 General Discussion

13:00-14:00 Lunch and Networking

14:00-15:00 Future Vision: Sustainable Development Championed by the Young
AFED’s Future Environment Leaders Forum (FELF)
Panel with students representing Arab universities
Moderator: Dr. Lama Sakhnini, Coordinator of Graduate Programs in Environment & Sustainable Development, University of Bahrain.

15:00-16:00 Closing Session
- Closing Statements
- Recommendations




Organizing Partners



Platinum Sponsor
Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor



  Corporate and industry leaders
  Government organizations with responsi bility for the environment, development, resource management, planning, economy and finance
  Environment experts
  Financial institutions
  Academic and research institutions
  NGOs dealing with environment and development
  Collect and disseminate first hand sectoral and cross-sectoral data on financing sustainable development in the Arab countries
  Identify barriers to sustainable development in Arab countries
  Recommend actions and policy measures required to bridge the current gaps in the current government policies
  Raise public awareness and trigger informed policy debate about the importance of environment accounts as a strategic step towards shifting to green economy
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