Continuity key for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for G20 summit: T20 Japan chair

Continuity key for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for G20 summit: T20 Japan chair
1 / 2
Naoyuki Yoshino. (Photo/Ahmed Fathi)
Continuity key for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for G20 summit: T20 Japan chair
2 / 2
Naoyuki Yoshino. (Photo/Ahmed Fathi)
Short Url
Updated 20 January 2020

Continuity key for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for G20 summit: T20 Japan chair

Continuity key for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for G20 summit: T20 Japan chair
  • “It’s very important for Saudi Arabia to be part of the G20, in a sense that you are showing Saudi Arabia to the whole world"

RIYADH: Continuity is important for Saudi Arabia as it prepares for the G20 summit, the dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) said.

The Kingdom last December assumed the presidency of the 2020 G20 summit, making it the first Arab nation to do so, and the summit will be held in Riyadh in November.

Naoyuki Yoshino, from the ADBI, chaired the G20’s “ideas bank” Think20 (T20) during Japan’s G20 presidency in 2019 and spoke about the transfer of knowledge to Saudi Arabia as it prepares for the world’s leading international economic forum.

Each host country selects task forces for the T20 to ensure continuity on policy recommendations.

“It’s important for Saudi Arabia to choose the topics which Saudi Arabia is facing and coordinate with other nations,” he told Arab News. “After we met in November of last year, I reiterated the importance of new topics and the succeeding of topics to ensure continuity. The co-chair of each task force is also very important as they can summarize each topic.

“We cannot exclude various topics but rather include them selectively, that will be the key for the success of the co-chairs. The Saudis have been preparing their task forces since our November 2019 meeting.

“They’ve selected the right people who will be engaged with the right topic. An example would be we in Japan added the aging population and its economic impact task force as it is a topic of concern to us and many Asian countries.

“It’s a lesson for the next chair to learn from, as your country is young and with the change in demographic, the task force is a good topic to look into from both sides,” he added.


Chips with everything: Saudi restaurant where waiters are robots

Chips with everything: Saudi restaurant where waiters are robots
Updated 38 min 15 sec ago

Chips with everything: Saudi restaurant where waiters are robots

Chips with everything: Saudi restaurant where waiters are robots
  • Room is fitted with strategically placed sensors that allow the machines to move about and take food to customers

MAKKAH: We’ve all been there … you order a meal in a restaurant, and the waiter arrives with a pasta salad instead of a chicken biryani.
There are no such issues at Restaurant Robot in Jazan. As the name suggests, the waiters are not fallible human beings, but robots powered by sophisticated artificial intelligence.
Six robot assistants are operating in the city center restaurant to deliver trays of Asian dishes to patrons. The system was originally set up as a precaution to reduce human contact during the coronavirus pandemic, but it has proved a hit with visitors.
In a system designed by young Saudi engineer Reham Omar, the restaurant interior has been fitted with strategically placed sensors that allow the robots to move about and take food to customers.
“Thanks to the sensors, the robots can sense anything standing near them, allowing them to stop walking or change their routes accordingly,” she told Arab News
“Each robot has had a map of the restaurant interior and the location of each table programmed into their memory. When the robot gets to the targeted table, customers can pick up their food and order the robot to leave.”
Omar said the idea had been developed by drawing on the experiences of other countries, and with support from the Saudi government for the food industry.
“We are proud of our project, as small as it is,” she said. “Customers are loving the robots and are impressed with the idea.
“Cultures are changing, and people are now eager to discover new technologies that can improve their quality of life.”


Saudi Arabia re-elected to Chemical Weapons watchdog’s Executive Council

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held the 25th Session of the Conference of the States Parties in The Hague, Netherlands. (Twitter/@OPCW)
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held the 25th Session of the Conference of the States Parties in The Hague, Netherlands. (Twitter/@OPCW)
Updated 22 min 58 sec ago

Saudi Arabia re-elected to Chemical Weapons watchdog’s Executive Council

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) held the 25th Session of the Conference of the States Parties in The Hague, Netherlands. (Twitter/@OPCW)
  • OPCW oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention
  • The Kingdom has been a member of the council since 1997

LONDON: Saudi Arabia has been re-elected as a member of the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), in the Asia section, until 2023.
It happened at The Hague, in the Netherlands, on Tuesday during the 25th Session of the Conference of the States Parties, which oversees the implementation of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC).
Ziyad Al-Attiyah, the Saudi ambassador to the Netherlands and the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the OPCW, thanked the nations that supported the re-election of his country, and said that it is a reflection of Saudi Arabia’s status under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 
The Kingdom looks forward to working with the rest of the council’s members to enhance the implementation of the CWC, he added.
Al-Attiyah affirmed his country’s desire to strengthen cooperation as part of the efforts to prohibit weapons of mass destruction and prevent their proliferation, and to ensure the Middle East becomes a region free of such weapons to enhance international peace and security.
He added that the Kingdom’s chemical industries sector is one of the largest in the region and growing steadily, which makes it one of the leading countries in this field among the membership of Executive Council.
Saudi Arabia has been a member of the council — the main body of the OPCW — since its inception in 1997. It’s membership is made up of 41 countries, representing five geographic areas, that are elected for terms of two years at a time.


Saudi Arabia to hold green initiative summit

Saudi Arabia to hold green initiative summit
The initiatives are set to apply a number of ambitious programs that will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region and plant 50 billion trees. (SPA)
Updated 17 min 7 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to hold green initiative summit

Saudi Arabia to hold green initiative summit
  • Xi expresses support for Saudi measures to fight climate change

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday said the Kingdom is working to organize an annual summit for the Middle East Green Initiative.

He said this during a phone call to Chinese President Xi Jinping.
During the call, the two leaders discussed the Saudi Green Initiative and the Middle East Green Initiative, which were recently announced by the crown prince.
The initiatives called for partnerships with regional countries to face the environmental challenges in the region, improve the quality of life, and implement the largest afforestation project in the world.
The crown prince and the president discussed the contributions of these two initiatives toward achieving global targets to combat climate change, and their influential role in raising the quality of life in the region and the world at large.
The Chinese president said Beijing supported both initiatives, stressing the importance of their support by the international community.
Xi told the crown prince that China wanted to advance its strategic partnership with the Kingdom. The crown prince and the president also discussed cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and technology.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The crown prince and the president also discussed cooperation in the fields of energy, trade and technology.

• MBS said Saudi Arabia was ready to strengthen the interconnection between the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

Prince Mohammed said his country was ready to strengthen the interconnection between the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
During the call, Xi said Beijing “is willing to work with Saudi Arabia and other members of the international community to build an equitable climate governance regime that is cooperative and beneficial to all,” Xinhua news agency reported.
The Chinese president also called for joint efforts to comprehensively and effectively implement “the Paris Agreement on climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.”
The initiatives are set to apply a number of ambitious programs that will reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent in the region and plant 50 billion trees.
The initiative will also work to increase the percentage of protected land to more than 30 percent, exceeding the global target at 17 percent per country. It will reduce carbon emissions by more than 4 percent of global contributions through renewable energy projects that will provide 50 percent of the Kingdom’s electricity production by 2030. The two initiatives come in support of the existing environmental efforts the Kingdom has supported in previous years as it continues to face its own challenges at home from desertification, low rainfall, and debilitating dust storms.

 


Saudi Arabia calls for Iran to engage in talks, avoid escalation

Saudi Arabia calls for Iran to engage in talks, avoid escalation
Updated 6 min 20 sec ago

Saudi Arabia calls for Iran to engage in talks, avoid escalation

Saudi Arabia calls for Iran to engage in talks, avoid escalation

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia renewed its call for Iran to engage in ongoing negotiations in Vienna, avoid escalation and not expose the region to more tension.
This came following a council of ministers meeting, chaired by King Salman on Tuesday.
The cabinet also urged the international community to reach an agreement with stronger and longer determinants that are implemented through monitoring and control measures to prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons and developing the necessary capabilities.

 


Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000

Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000
The authority reiterated that it was continuously monitoring the safety of the vaccines available in Saudi Arabia by studying cases of side effects. (SPA)
Updated 21 April 2021

Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000

Saudi Arabia’s virus cases surge past 1,000
  • The ministry said 940 people recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours, meaning 390,538 people have made full recoveries

JEDDAH: The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) on Tuesday confirmed 34 cases of blood clots or thrombosis and low platelet count among people who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“The authority suggests the existence of seven possible cases of thrombosis that are related to the vaccine, due to the absence of other reasons for the appearance of clots in them,” the SFDA said in a statement.
However, the authority also said that thrombocytopenia and blood-clotting immune response associated with the AstraZeneca vaccine is yet to be confirmed in these cases.
It said based on the local reports received, the rate of occurrence of these symptoms in conjunction with the administration of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the Kingdom is “very rare.”
The SFDA said that all approved vaccines for the coronavirus (COVID-19) being used in the Kingdom are safe. It stressed that the desired benefits of the vaccine in question outweigh the potential risks.
The authority reiterated that it was continuously monitoring the safety of the vaccines available in Saudi Arabia by studying cases of side effects along with the local and international scientific evidence and data available.

FASTFACTS

• The Kingdom reports a 55 percent increase in the number of cases among women.

• 1,070 new infections were reported on Tuesday.

The SFDA advised recipients of the vaccine to consult a doctor or go to the nearest health center if any of the following symptoms appear or continue for more than three days after receiving a vaccine: Dizziness, severe and persistent headache, nausea or vomiting, issues with vision, shortness of breath, severe pain in the chest or abdomen or coldness in the extremities, swelling of the legs, small blood spots under the skin other than the injection site.
Dr. Abdullah Asiri, an infectious diseases consultant at the Saudi Ministry of Health, allayed public fears following the reports.
“How can a wrong conclusion deduced from a generalization become the most circulated news?” he wrote on Twitter. “In short, not every blood clotting after vaccinations is due to vaccinations. Thanks to vaccines, lives are saved every day. We have not yet had confirmed cases of platelet deficiency and blood clotting immune responses associated ‘hypothetically’ with COVID-19 vaccines.”
Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, a Ministry of Health spokesman, said: “We are still monitoring an increase in the number of COVID-19 infections, which is the highest since the beginning of this year. There has also been an increase in cases among females by 55 percent.”
The Ministry of Health reported 1,070 new confirmed cases in the Kingdom over the past 24 hours, meaning 407,010 people have now contracted the virus. Of the 9,626 active cases, 1,105 were in critical condition. There were 12 fatalities, which brought the national death toll to 6,846.
The ministry said 940 people recovered from the virus over the past 24 hours, meaning 390,538 people have made full recoveries.