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ATO - Arab Towns Organization

Contact:
Ghassan SAMMAN, Head of the Foreign Affairs, Information and Information Systems

TYPE OF NETWORK:

The Arab Town Organization (ATO) is a regional, non-governmental and non-political organization specialized in municipal and town affairs in the Arab world.

BRIEF BACKGROUND:

The ATO was established in 1967 with headquarters in Kuwait City.

MEMBERS:

The membership of the organization is open to all Arab cities wishing to join it.
ATO counts more than 400 members in the following countries: Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Kuwait, Morocco, Yemen, Tunisia, Comoros, Djibouti, Syria, Amman, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt and Mauritania.

PARTNERSHIPS:

- Observer status in the first degree in the United Nations and its various agencies and bodies.
- Observer status of First Instance in the European Council and various bodies.
- Associated international bodies and agencies: The League of Arab States, Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.

INSTITUTIONAL ORGANSATION:

- Political organisation / Presidency :
The general congress (consisting of representatives of municipalities members) is the highest authority in the organization. It meets in regular session once every three years.
The Permanent Bureau counts from one to four municipalities for each country.
The Supreme advisory body, formed in 2000, comprises senior members of member municipalities, heads of institutions of the organization.

- Technical organisation:
Secretary General : M. Abd Al-Aziz Yousef Al-Adsani

- Institutions of ATO:
The Development Fund Arab cities (ADTF) finances projects Municipalities member medium-term loans symbolic benefits.
The Arab Institute for urban development (AUDI) : is the scientific and documentary organization of ATO. It develops training programs in the areas of municipal services and urban planning, insures advisory services to member cities, studies and research for the development of member cities and municipal services.
The Foundation Award Arab Towns Organization (ATFA) distributes a price aiming to encourage the preservation of the architectural character in the Arab and Islamic modern architecture
The Environment Center of Arab cities (ECAT) is a scientific research institution which deals with environmental issues concerning Arab city’s natural resources and sustainable development.
The Arab Forum for Information Systems (AFIS)
The Urban Observatory of Arab cities is a regional institution designed to measure the performance of development and contribute to the respect to sustainable development

NATURE OF ACTIVITIES:

- Institutional:
Development and modernization of municipal and local government institutions and legislations
Encouragement of cooperation and exchange of expertise among Arab towns and with European cities through the organisation of Euro-Arab cities Forum.
Establishment of several international bodies concerned with the local authorities and strengthen its relations with foreign bodies and organizations related to the fields of work.

- Operational:
Establishment of specialized information centre to collect documents and information
Providing financial loans for member towns to assist them in implementing their developmental projects.

FIELDS OF ACTION:

Governance, institutional support, local finance
Urban development and planning
Heritage
Environment and risks management

RELATIONS WITH OTHER NETWORKS/ASSOCIATIONS OF LOCAL AUTHORITIES:

Member of UCLG and its Mediterranean Commission

PUBLICATIONS:

Edition of a magazine

CONTACTS :

- Contact: Ghassan Samman, Head of the Foreign Affairs, Information and Information Systems

- Address:
P.O.Box 68160 - Kaifan - 71962 Kuwait
Tel: 4849705 / 4849706 / 4849708 / 4849625
Fax: 4849319 / 4849322
E-mail: ato@ato.net / info@ato.net/ magazine@ato.net

- Website: www.ato.net




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