After three decades of belligerence which has frequently flared into war, the Middle East now appears to be moving toward peace. With the attainment of peace, our region will be able to redirect its resources toward the solution of serious socioeconomic problems. Large sectors of the region’s population live in abject poverty. Peace, and the mutual cooperation which, we trust, will follow close behind, can promote economic growth. Thus peace can make a significant impact upon the well-being of all, and most especially, of the poor. We are confident that cooperation among the nations of the Middle East, based upon mutual respect, can restore this region to the glory it knew, centuries ago.