Published — Tuesday 22 January 2013
Last update 22 January 2013 6:31 pm
RIYADH: The leaders and heads of delegations of Arab countries concluded in Riyadh on Tuesday their meetings of the 3rd Arab Economic and Social Development Summit. The following is the full text of the summit's declaration
We, the leaders of Arab countries, held meetings of the 3rd Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Riyadh in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on 9-10 Rabi I, 1434AH, corresponding to 21-22 January 2013. We renew our full commitment to the implementation of the decisions that were taken in the two developmental summits held in Kuwait, 19-20 January, 2009, and Sharm Al-Sheikh on 19 January 2011.
We express our satisfaction over the measures taken to implement these decisions and the progress achieved in the implementation of economic and social development projects approved by the two previous summits, emphasizing the need to expedite the completion of the implementation of all decisions and remove all obstacles on their ways.
We also commend the executive steps that have been completed to activate the account for financing small and medium enterprises in the Arab countries, which was launched by the 1st Arab Economic and Social Development Summit in Kuwait, January 2009.
In recognition of the importance of moving forward to develop joint Arab actions to serve Arab citizens, raise the standards of their living and provide them with full health care, we have agreed on the following:
Strengthening the capacity of institutions of joint Arab action:
Welcome of the initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud calling for increasing the capital of common Arab financial institutions by at least 50% for the importance of the vital role played by these institutions to meet the growing development needs so that they can contribute effectively to economic and social development in the Arab countries, and work to develop mechanisms of action and facilitate their financial procedures, enabling it to expand its activities and increase the utilization of their resources as well as increasing the capital of joint Arab companies by not less than 50% also to ensure the development of their potential to establish new joint Arab productive projects and contribute to national projects in collaboration with the Arab private sector in order to meet the growing needs for goods and services needed by the Arab citizen and contribute to bridging the gap afflicting our countries in many of those goods and services, and provide more job opportunities for Arab citizens.
Encouraging Inter-Arab Investment:
Believing in the importance of investment and its role in upgrading the Arab economic integration, development of inter-Arab trade and creation of new jobs that contribute to reducing unemployment, increasing the level of employment, poverty reduction, Arab capital investment in the Arab countries and employing them to enhance development and develop economies of our Arab countries, and to promote flow of inter-Arab investments, we have adopted the unified agreement to invest capital in Arab countries (as amended) to conform with the developments at the Arab, regional and international arenas, and provide the proper climate to increase the flow of inter-Arab investments, and work to make the Arab region attractive area for these investments, confirming our commitment to implement it, and call at the same time the Arab private sector to take the initiative to benefit from this agreement's advantages and guarantees, including the migrant Arab businessmen to exploit opportunities and contribute to the Pan-Arab economic development.
We also confirm our commitment to creating the investment climate in our countries and enact national laws and legislation that will help to attract more investment and utilization of natural resources and comparative advantages enjoyed by our countries.
Development of Energy Usage:
Emanating from the necessity to keep up with global developments of using different energy sources, we have adopted the Arab strategy for the development of renewable energy applications (2010 - 2030) to meet the growing demand for energy, diversify its sources, meet the needs of sustainable development, open the way for the establishment of Arab market for renewable energy, work to provide new job opportunities with the active participation of the private sector, and support for Arab developmental projects aiming to develop all renewable energy technologies uses through the creation of legislative, institutional and organizational climate for the spreading of its uses.
Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals:
Confirming our commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, supporting the efforts of least developed Arab countries to achieve those goals, and focusing on the third goal for combating hunger, particularly rapid intervention to counter the effects of emergency crises in the area of food security, we have adopted the recommendations of the Arab Conference on implementation of the Millennium Development Goals toward the Arab required movement until 2015 AD to crystallize an Arab vision that contributes to the development of the global vision of sustainable development objectives after 2015, particularly supporting the efforts to promote the welfare of the individuals and the group via equal patterns and sustainable manner, promoting the overall development, paying more attention to the issues of unemployment of the youth and people with special needs and creating decent job opportunities as two Arab pivotal goals within the framework of what will be agreed upon in the future.
We direct to promote the efforts of the Arab bodies related to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, such as the Arab specialized ministerial councils in cooperation with all regional and international partners, the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
Improving the Level of Health Services and Disease Control:
On the basis of our commitment to improving the level of health care, paying more attention to issues of non-communicable diseases as they pose a great challenge to the welfare of society and development efforts in the Arab countries, accelerating the development and support of policies, strategies, programs and action plans that are taken on social determinants of health, participation of all the forces of community in it, strengthening international cooperation to address these determinants as a key factor for achieving the Millennium Development Goals, fulfillment of commitments on maternal and child health, eradication of infectious diseases, tackling communicable diseases, continuation of the efforts in the fight against diseases and eliminating them and supporting what was passed by the Arab Economic Summit at its first session in Kuwait January 2009, we have welcomed the "Riyadh Declaration" issued by the "International Conference on healthy lifestyles and non-communicable diseases in the Arab world and the Middle East," which was held in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the period from 9-12.12.2012.
Inter-Arab Trade and Arab Customs Union:
Confirming our commitment to supporting the process of Arab economic integration, increasing the volume of inter-Arab trade and the formation of an Arab solid economic grouping, we affirm our determination to complete the requirements for the Greater Arab Free Trade before the end of 2013, and make every effort to overcome the difficulties that prevent this. We also appreciate the efforts of specialized Arab organizations, federations and regional and international bodies in order to enhance inter-Arab trade, expressing in this area our support for the decisions by the Extraordinary Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which was held in Makkah in 2012, to invite the Islamic Development Bank's Board of Governors to adopt a practical mechanism to increase the bank's capital to contribute to the development of bilateral trade and investment, and strengthen the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development and welcoming at the same time the initiative of the assistance for trade of Arab countries launched by International Islamic Corporation for the Development of Trade, with an emphasis on the importance of backing and supporting it.