SAMF bans Saudi rally drivers over coffee stunt

Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation said Saturday that the drivers’ behavior was unacceptable and reckless. (SPA)
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Updated 20 January 2020

SAMF bans Saudi rally drivers over coffee stunt

  • The 7,800 kilometer journey started in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiya

JEDDAH: Two Saudi rally drivers have been banned from all local and international races for three months after a video showed them engaging in a car-based coffee stunt.
The co-driver can be seen pouring coffee from a traditional Arabic pot for the driver while they traveling from Al-Wajh to NEOM during the prestigious Dakar Rally 2020. The clip went viral on social media.
The Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle Federation (SAMF) said Saturday that the drivers’ behavior was unacceptable and reckless.
It was an insult to the reputation of Saudi Arabia and to the Saudi competitors who had been selected and invited to take part in the top-flight event, SAMF added.
The Dakar Rally ran from Jan. 5 to Jan. 17 in the Kingdom. It featured more than 500 pilots from 62 countries, including 47 who had taken on the grueling challenge at least 10 times in their careers.
The 7,800 kilometer journey started in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiya.
Carlos Sainz won the race for the third time. Two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso, who was competing in the race for the first time, finished 13th.
 


Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

Updated 13 August 2020

Saudi body to help UN devise policies for sustainable living

  • Saudi Green Building Forum granted accreditation as an observer to UNEP governing body

RIYADH: A professional association from Saudi Arabia will play a key policymaking role at a UN governing body addressing the importance of environmental needs.
Following careful assessment and consideration of the commitments and engagements of the Saudi Green Building Forum (SGBF), the nonprofit organization has been granted accreditation as an observer at the governing body of the UN Environment Program (UNEP). SGBF will play a role as an observer at all public meetings and sessions of the UNEP and its subsidiary organs.
Speaking to Arab News, Faisal Al-Fadl, founder of the nonprofit organization, said that the forum’s mission has been developing for the past 10 years and this accreditation was considered an important step in strengthening the role of Saudi civil society institutions, locally and internationally. This was in line with Vision 2030, which has not only played an integral role in the NGO’s mission but also paved the way for the Kingdom’s people to go the extra mile in building an advanced and resilient society.
SGBF was initiated in 2010 and established in 2014. In 2017, it became the first professional body from Saudi Arabia in consultative status with the UN.
“The Saudi Forum was an advocacy group with an honest voice to bridge the gap; through UNEP we now have the tools to become the policymakers,” Al-Fadl said. It is a challenge that the group founder says will be met by providing communities with the proper tools to implement commitments.
As the observing body on the environmental framework at the UNEP, SGBF’s role will include promoting its concepts and goals to be reflected within the community of change. For change to happen, people of a community at a grassroots level who have committed to the preservation of moral codes of conduct are key to changing mentality and behavior to guarantee a future for the next generations, Al-Fadl said.
“As an open platform, our role is being the honest voice of bridging the gap. Economic and social progress accompanied by environmental degradation and pandemics are endangering the very systems on which our future development and our survival depends,” he said.
SGBF represents the Kingdom and its call to communities, stakeholders, and policymakers to build on the principles of volunteering, advocacy and sustainable development.
For the NGO, their next step is increasing the engagement of civil society, finding solutions to the problem of volunteer integration in societies, and to prioritize and address social challenges for women, youth and the elderly, calling on member states to increase their role in building and developing practices that minimize the negative impact on the planet.
Al-Fadl added that protecting the planet and building resilience was not easy. Without bolstering local action, including volunteers to accelerate the implementation, it would be a long time until goals were met and result seen, he said.
“UN member countries have the responsibility in confronting the human crisis of inestimable proportions, which impose its heaviest tolls on the supply chain for those marginalized and
most vulnerable in cities and communities around the world,” Al-Fadl said.