Saudi civil service minister participates in Arab Government Excellence Award launch

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Civil Service Sulaiman Al-Hamdan participates in the launch of the Arab Government Excellence Award in Cairo. (SPA)
Updated 24 May 2019

Saudi civil service minister participates in Arab Government Excellence Award launch

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Civil Service Sulaiman Al-Hamdan participated in the launch of the Arab Government Excellence Award on Thursday at the headquarters of the Arab League in Cairo.

The award was organized in partnership with the Arab Organization for Administrative Development (ARADO), of which Al-Hamdan is also the chairman.

Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit delivered the keynote speech, in which he stressed that the award would foster the spirit of fair competition in the field of public administration.

Gheit said the award, launched under the patronage of UAE Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, would encourage leading practices in the performance of government institutions in Arab countries, to encourage government institutions to improve their services.

Mohammad Al-Gergawi, UAE minister of Cabinet affairs and chairman of the award’s board of trustees, said that the award would recognize the best Arab ministers, ministries, directors, institutions and governors based on strict administrative standards, with additional recognitions in the fields of health, education, infrastructure, women’s empowerment and the provision opportunities for young people.

He added that a series of research papers on modern government administration would be launched, and an Arab administrative platform made available to review best practices and obtain detailed and up-to-date management advice.

ARADO Director General Nasser Al-Qahtani said: “The Arab Government Excellence Award was launched by a decision of the member ministers of the executive council and ARADO’s general assembly. The aim is to improve government institutions and services in all Arab countries and promote pioneering and distinctive practices.”

During the ceremony, the UAE signed a memorandum of understanding with ARADO on the joint organization of the Arab Government Excellence Award. It was co-signed by the UAE minister of state for happiness and wellbeing, Ohood bint Khalfan Al-Roumi, and Al-Qahtani.


Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.