KSA’s first national review of sustainable goals

Updated 15 July 2018
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KSA’s first national review of sustainable goals

  • Saudi Arabia’s initiatives to enable the full participation of women in society include the national observatory of women’s participation in economic, social and environmental development
  • Saudi Arabia instituted the largest number of business reforms among countries in the Middle East and North Africa region

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is presenting its first voluntary national review of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) at the UN headquarters in New York.
The Ministry of Economy and Planning is leading the Saudi delegation at the UN forum on sustainable development. The ministerial meeting of the forum, whose theme is “Transformation toward sustainable and resilient societies,” is from July 16 to July 18. Saudi Vision 2030 is a roadmap toward a future based on three pillars: A a vibrant society, a thriving economy and an ambitious nation. Many of the vision’s initiatives are geared toward SDGs.

Community development
Saudi Arabia has upgraded its welfare system, including social protection programs, financial assistance, child care, retirement pensions, elderly care and women’s welfare.
Saudi Arabia’s initiatives to enable the full participation of women in society include the national observatory of women’s participation in economic, social and environmental development. Other contributions to women’s advancement include the launch of a digital portal for female job seekers, the Al-Nahda Women’s Charitable Society program to help working women to commute (Wusool), and a daycare program to assist working women (Qurra).

King Khalid Foundation
KKF was the first nonprofit body to conduct research on women issues through a nationwide survey of 10,000 households. The results informed proposals on how best to tackle issues.

Economic transformation
To scale up diversification, raise the skills of the Saudi workforce and exploit the Kingdom’s natural resources, the government has increased investment in telecommunications, e-government, water, wastewater and energy. It is continuing to develop the country’s infrastructure, including expansion of the railway system and the introduction of a light rail transit project with metro lines and a community bus network in the Kingdom’s major cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Makkah and Madinah.
According to a recent World Bank report, Saudi Arabia instituted the largest number of business reforms among countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. In addition to hosting millions of Hajj and Umrah visitors, Saudi Arabia is promoting the country as a tourist destination, including easing visa restrictions.

Environmental protection
Saudi Arabia has invested in advanced waste-disposal systems and integrated recycling projects as well as fighting desertification and reducing pollution. It is addressing water scarcity through conservation, desalination and reuse of treated wastewater.
It is active in promoting green building technologies and ensuring the protection and sustainability of marine and coastal ecosystems and increasing the number of nature reserves. The government is building clean energy facilities. King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy has been created, and a national renewable energy program has been launched to promote participation of local and international companies in renewable energy projects.
Humanitarian relief Saudi Arabia is the world’s fourth-largest aid donor. Through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), Saudi Arabia has given more than $1.543 billion to Yemen in the past three years. KSRelief implemented 260 projects that targeted food security, refugees, control of cholera, water and wastewater, and support to the Central Bank of Yemen.

The Social Charity Fund
In 2016, SCF allocated $139.81 million for scholarship programs, in addition to $30.51 million earmarked for training and employment programs.


Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

Updated 10 min 22 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia’s nuclear program ‘fundamental to Kingdom’s energy sector’

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s atomic energy program is fundamental for developing a sustainable energy sector, a senior minister told the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
The Kingdom plans to start building its first two nuclear power reactors this year and as many as 16 over the next 25 years at a cost of more than $80 billion. The plan is to provide 15 percent of Saudi Arabia’s power from nuclear by 2032.
Speaking at the IAEA’s annual conference in Vienna, Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said the atomic reactor projects were were part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 to diversify its energy sources to nuclear and renewables.
The program “abides by all international treaties and conventions and best practices, adhering to the highest standards of safety, security and transparency,” Al Falih said.
The minister said Saudi Arabia was committed to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which calls for nuclear disarmament and stresses the commitment of nuclear power states to share their peaceful technologies with abiding member states.
He also said the Kingdom had called for cooperation with the international community to make the Middle East a nuclear weapons free area.
The US has started to reintroduce heavy sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, after Donald Trump pulled out of a deal with the country earlier this year to curb its atomic ambitions.
Al-Falih called on the international community to take a more stringent stance against all threats to regional and international security, particularly Iran, given its “alarming efforts to build its nuclear capabilities, in tandem with its increasing acts of sabotage and aggression against other states in the region.”