Development success can come about when human resources are maximized, Saudi Shoura member Al-Helaissi says

Hoda Al-Helaissi
Updated 20 September 2017
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Development success can come about when human resources are maximized, Saudi Shoura member Al-Helaissi says

GENEVA: International experts on women’s rights from the Arab region and the West called on decision-makers from the Global South and the Global North to increase their efforts toward addressing barriers and challenges impeding the realization of women’s rights and gender equality. This conclusion was reached during a panel debate organized at the United Nations Office in Geneva held on 15 September on the theme of “Women’s rights in the Arab region: Between myth and reality.”
Saudi Arabia’s representative to the meeting Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council and former Vice-Chairperson at King Saud University, observed that women empowerment and addressing gender inequality are “universal concerns” of the global community.
She remarked that “a country’s true development, economic growth and international success can only come about when it uses its human resources to its fullest – male and female.”
Al-Helaissi further added that the stereotyping of Arab women in the West would not advance the cause of promoting and advancing gender empowerment in the Arab region. She called upon international decision-makers to recognize “the change that takes place and supporting that change rather than merely repeating the static stereotyped image” of women in the Arab region.
The debate was held on the occasion of the 36th session to the United Nations Human Rights Council by the Geneva Center for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue — a think tank having special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social
Council (ECOSOC) – and the Permanent Mission of the Arab Republic of Egypt to UN Geneva.


Exclusive: UAE mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor calls for a boycott of US firms, execs. who pulled out of Saudi investment summit

Updated 15 October 2018
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Exclusive: UAE mogul Khalaf Al-Habtoor calls for a boycott of US firms, execs. who pulled out of Saudi investment summit

JEDDAH: In an Op-Ed column written exclusively for Arab News, UAE business tycoon Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor has called for an Arab boycott of US companies and executives who have pulled out of Saudi Arabia’s upcoming Future Investment Initiative (FII) summit, or decided to freeze ongoing dealings with the Kingdom. 
A number of media companies, including Bloomberg, New York Times, CNN and CNBC have announced pulling out of the partnerships with the FII summit happening on Oct. 28 in Riyadh. This was in the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, more than 10 days ago, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. 
Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement with his disappearance, and has sent a team to assist Turkish investigators to find out what happened to the Saudi. 
Khashoggi’s vanishing has caused many to blame Riyadh, given he had recently become a vocal critic of its leadership in a number of columns for The Washington Post, while living in the  US. 
Pulling out of the FII media partnerships, or executives, such as Uber’s Dara Khosrowshahi  cancelling their attendance, is unjustified, argued Habtoor, considering the investigation into the journalist’s whereabouts is ongoing.
The Emirati businessman also takes on London-based Virgin Group founder Richard Branson who suspended his negotiations on tourism projects in Saudi Arabia as well as discussions with the country’s Public Investment Fund.
“The Saudis’ Gulf Cooperation Council allies, as well as Egypt and Jordan, must stand shoulder to shoulder with Riyadh to show those companies they are not welcome to operate within our borders. They should be boycotted. Together we must prove we will not be bullied or else, mark my words, once they have finished kicking the Kingdom, we will be next in line. Now is the time to prove our loyalty and transparency toward each other,” the businessman said.
Al-Habtoor said he was “shocked” that the US Congress is pressurizing President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East when the truth has not even been determined. He also condemned US media, government officials and lawmakers for rushing to judgement on an active investigation. 
“Last week, Saudi basked in America’s friendship. A single individual goes off the radar and Riyadh is targeted with warnings and threats from America’s political, financial and business sectors. Considering that the investigation is not yet over, if this is not gross overkill, then what is?” He said.