C20 co-chair urges governments to listen

Dania Al-Maeena, chief executive of Aloula – the first nonprofit in Saudi Arabia that fights poverty through early intervention. (Screenshot)
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Updated 10 October 2020

C20 co-chair urges governments to listen

  • Dania Al-Maeena was making her closing remarks at the C20, which is the civil society engagement group of the G20

DUBAI: Governments should listen to people and ensure that their voices are heard, the chief executive of a Saudi non-profit organization told a virtual summit of civil society stakeholders from around the world.

Dania Al-Maeena was making her closing remarks at the C20, which is the civil society engagement group of the G20.

Al-Maeena is co-chair of the C20 and the summit was hosted by Riyadh.

“We must always listen to voices without discrimination or proxy,” she said in her video address. “The world is not short of effective frameworks for action, we have them endorsed and committed to. What we are missing is the action toward realizing sustainable development equally everywhere, with serious commitment to systemic reforms and economic reconstructions. We need to work together through a trustworthy multilateral system. It is time to double down on cooperation across countries, cultures and political orientations. Rules-based, fair and solidarity-driven multilateralism is our best way to tackle our complex cross-border problems.”

An earlier communique from the group said that civil society was being “sidelined from global and local decision-making more than at any other time in modern history.”

“The backroom global policy making, aided by private interest and lobbyists, has led to the decline of participatory processes and democratic governance,” it said.

It called on G20 leaders to “adopt just policies for an inclusive recovery, restore faith in multilateralism, and attend immediately to the climate and ecological crisis.”

Al-Maeena is the chief executive of Aloula, a non-profit in Saudi Arabia that fights poverty through early intervention.


MWL, UPEACE join hands to promote peace, civilized dialogue

Updated 16 min 3 sec ago

MWL, UPEACE join hands to promote peace, civilized dialogue

RIYADH: The Muslim World League (MWL) and the UN-mandated University for Peace (UPEACE) have launched a book dedicated to the promotion of peace, human rights, and dialogue among civilizations.

The work, co-authored by 32 leading religious, international, political, intellectual, and media figures from around the world, was launched in Jeddah to mark the UN’s 75th anniversary and 100 years of multilateralism.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the MWL, said: “I have always said that 10 percent of humans are capable of bringing peace and harmony to our world.

“Religious leaders and public and private institutions, including international institutions, have a responsibility to contribute effectively to achieving our common aspirations.

“A civilized alliance must be reached that represents the reality of understanding, tolerance, and cooperation of all, as well as promoting awareness of the fact that God has established the principles of difference, diversity, and pluralism.”

Al-Issa added: “History has given us lessons and sermons that prove that there is no victor in civilizational clashes and conflicts, which means that ideas can only be communicated through wisdom and mutual respect.”

Alvaro Iranzo Gutierrez, the Spanish ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said Spain had also tried to play a role in international efforts aimed at providing a structure for dialogue between communities and religions.

He pointed out that the book’s research, coordinated by UPEACE and the MWL, provided “the necessary and comprehensive intellectual refutation of all the negatives in order to rise above the perceptions of the past that highlights divisions.”

Francisco J. Chacon Hernandez, Costa Rica’s ambassador to the UAE and Jordan, congratulated the MWL and UPEACE on the “inspiring” work that he said would help pave the way for peace.