Arab Economic and Social Council expresses support for UNRWA, Palestine

Participants encouraged Arab countries to increase economic support for the Palestinian people in the face of Israel’s occupation. (SPA)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Arab Economic and Social Council expresses support for UNRWA, Palestine

  • The council rejected any direct or indirect dealing with Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine

JEDDAH: The Arab Economic and Social Council expressed its rejection of any attempts to end or lessen the role of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in supporting millions of Palestinian refugees. Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Hamad bin Suleiman Al-Bazai led the Saudi delegation to the council meeting in Cairo.
The council issued a resolution warning that cutting financial support for UNRWA will have negative consequences. Participants encouraged Arab countries to increase economic support for the Palestinian people in the face of Israel’s occupation. They urged the Arab private sector to invest in Palestine through the creation of mechanisms and special programs designed by the Arab League in collaboration with relevant entities and organizations.
The council appealed to specialized ministerial councils, Arab organizations and financial institutions to increase relief and development support for Palestine to mitigate the effects of the occupation and to help Palestine overcome its financial crisis.
The council also urged the Arab League General Secretariat to increase technical support programs for the least developed countries, including Palestine.
The council rejected any direct or indirect dealing with Israel’s illegal occupation and colonization of Palestine, and called for a database of companies dealing with Israeli settlements. It also urged Arab countries to provide the Arab League General Secretariat with reports on development projects to reduce the economic and social consequences of hosting Syrian refugees. The council urged Arab countries to expedite the completion of procedures for signing and ratifying the Convention on the Liberalization of Trade in Services among Arab States.
It also approved a draft charter for the development of the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) sector.


Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

Updated 19 min 59 sec ago
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Saudi capital to get world’s biggest park in $23bn project

  • The project will see 7.5m trees planted and the creation of the world's biggest park
  • There will be 70,000 jobs created across the four major projects

RIYADH: The world’s biggest park will be created in Saudi Arabia as part of a $22.9bn project that promises to create vast open green areas in Riyadh, creating thousands of new jobs, state news agency SPA reported on Tuesday

The aim of the project is to “significantly improve the lives of its citizens, transform the city into an attractive destination and make it one of the world’s most livable cities,” the report added.

The four projects - King Salman Park, Sports Boulevard, Green Riyadh and Riyadh Art – will complement the Saudi Vision 2030’s “Quality of Life” Program and are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, to create sustainable cities and communities, while driving urgent action against climate change.

Developed with a government investment of $23 bn, the four projects will offer opportunities worth $15bn for the private sector to invest in residential, commercial, recreational and wellness projects.

As well as creating tens of thousands of new jobs, the project will also help boost efforts to improve the city’s health and wellbeing with a commitment to wellness, health, sports, culture and the arts, underpinned by a commitment to environmental sustainability.

Measuring 13.4 square kilometers, King Salman Park will be the world’s biggest park, with residential areas, hotels, and will also feature a Royal Arts Complex, theaters, museums, cinemas, sports venues, water features, restaurants and an 18-hole Royal Golf Course.

The park will also boast several landmark assets, including the Riyadh Fountains and a Vertical Garden. As an environmentally sustainable urban development, it will offer opportunities for the international community in arts, entertainment and culture.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

One of the world’s largest urban greening projects, Green Riyadh will increase Riyadh’s green cover with 7.5 million trees.

The massive planting project will help increase the city’s green cover from 1.5 percent of Riyadh’s total area to 9.1 percent – that’s approximately 541 square kilometers, by 2030.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Green space availability will increase to 28 square meters per capita from the current 1.7 square meters per capita, compared to the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 9 square meters per capita.

Green Riyadh will help reduce average ambient temperature by 2C, and will use more than 1 million cubic meters of treated sewage effluent daily for irrigation, for the sustainability of water resources in the city.

Image: riyadhgreen.sa

Sports Boulevard  - a health and wellness destination in the heart of the city- will feature a 135 kilometer-long professional cycling track covering the city and the surrounding valleys, the first of its kind in the region.

Adding 3.5 million square meters of new open space across the city, this grand project will also feature a sports pavilion, riding stables and athletics tracks.

Riyadh Art will be the world’s largest government investment in public art and will establish the city as “a gallery without walls” through a world-class interactive public arts program.

With 1,000 artworks curated through 10 separate programs and an annual arts festival, this project will feature large-scale art works with the aim of drawing art lovers and creators from around the world.

The projects are part of Saudi Arbia’s strategy to meet their Vision 2030 goals, they are expected to provide 70,000 new job opportunities.

Construction work is due to start in the second half of 2019.