Women’s sports participation up 149%: Saudi Sports Minister

Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. (SPA)
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Updated 21 June 2020

Women’s sports participation up 149%: Saudi Sports Minister

  • Twenty-two women’s national teams in official regional championships in various sports have been established, in addition to the Women’s Football League

RIYADH: Saudi women’s participation in sports has increased 149 percent in the past five years, Sports Minister Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said during a virtual symposium organized by the London Business School Alumni Association in Riyadh.
He added that Saudi sports play an important role in achieving Vision 2030, namely in terms of diversifying the economy and building a vibrant society.
This, he said, is evident in the achievements of the Kingdom’s sports sector in the past few years, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Twenty-two women’s national teams in official regional championships in various sports have been established, in addition to the Women’s Football League.
“We’ve started establishing academies for children in all cities of the Kingdom to encourage them to play sports and build a strong foundation from which they can start,” the minister said. “After that, the process of exploring their potential begins.”
He spoke about the Kingdom’s hosting of international events and tournaments, and reiterated the importance of the private sector in the development of sports in Saudi Arabia. 


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.