The Arab Towns Organization (ATO) is a network which exists to develop cooperation between Arab cities in order to promote their development, while preserving their Arab identity. It was set up on 15 March 1967.
Membership is open to municipalities, from Arab nations, other institutions with related activities and interested individuals. Member cities, according to the website (in 2008), come from the following countries : Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. There are several related institutions, including a Development Fund for Arab Cities, which began life in 1979, and the Arab Urban Development Institute which started up in 1980, describing itself as ‘the scientific and technical wing of the ATO’.
ATO is one of the main partners in the Euro-Arab Forum, which has organised conferences in Dubai (2008) and Malaga (2011). The other partners are COPPEM, CEMR and the Congress of the Council of Europe.
ATO is based in Kuwait City. P.O.Box :68160 Kaifan 71962 Kuwait Tel : 24849705 / 24849706 / 24849708 / 24849625
The current ATO Secretary General (2011) is Abdulaziz al-Adasani. He was re-elected in 2010 for another three-year term, at the 15th ATO General Assembly in Kuwait (October 2010). A decision was taken at this meeting to hold the 16th Assembly in Aleppo in 2012.
- Arab Towns Organization website
- ATO approves soft loans for Arab cities 5/7/2006
- ATO to participate in November 2008 World Urban Forum in Nanjing
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