Prince Faisal bin Farhan to UN: A culture of peace, justice and the rule of law at the heart of fighting terrorism

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi attends second UN High Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States. (SPA)
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Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi attends second UN High Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (File/Reuters)
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Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 29 June 2021

Prince Faisal bin Farhan to UN: A culture of peace, justice and the rule of law at the heart of fighting terrorism

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
  • Saudi Arabia has managed to “drastically degrade and defeat these terrorists,” FM told UN on Monday
  • UN chief said member states bear “the ultimate responsibility” to prevent technologies from falling into terrorists' hands

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia condemns terrorism in all its forms, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the UN on Monday.

At the second UN High Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States, Bin Farhan called on all member states and international and regional organizations to come together and implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism strategy in the face of this “persistent challenge to international peace and security.”

The UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), of which Saudi Arabia is a founding nation, is celebrating its tenth anniversary and Bin Farhan told participants that the center remains a vital and supportive partner of the UN system in combating terrorism.

Saudi Arabia pays particular attention to the financing of terrorism, Bin Farhan said. For that, the Kingdom has ratified a number of bilateral, regional and international agreements and stepped up international legal cooperation in criminal matters related to terrorism and its financing.

This year’s conference theme, “Countering and Preventing Terrorism in the Age of Transformative Technologies,” highlights the fact that the threat of terrorism has evolved with technology, but also, as US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield put it, provides the opportunity to harness technology to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism from taking root in communities.

“Terrorists (have) adapted,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “They use communication technology to enhance their networks, recruit and inspire supporters, disseminate propaganda, and challenge our ability to prevent acts of terrorism. (Increasingly) they’re using advanced technology to actually perpetrate criminal acts.”

The American envoy called for a new strategy that keeps up with the evolving landscape of terrorism.

Bin Farhan said that his country’s counter-terrorism approach goes beyond conventional measures to include countering terrorist cybercrime through “legal and technological” means.

“The National Cybersecurity Authority and the Intellectual Warfare Center are examples of national institutions established to address the root causes of extremism and terrorism, as well as the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, which counters extremist ideologies using new and innovative methods including by analyzing extremist narratives,” he said.

The Saudi foreign minister also highlighted the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in April 2021 between the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology and the UNCCT which “shows the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting the international community’s effort in fighting the scourge of terrorism.

“Under the MoU the two centers will launch joint projects focused on capacity building, countering the use of internet for terrorist purposes, raising awareness among youth, promoting tolerance and supporting the victims of terrorism,” he said.

Bin Farhan also underscored his country’s attachment to the promotion of a culture of peace and dialogue. A case in point is the recent signing of an MoU between King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural dialogue and the UN Alliance for Civilization.

Bin Farhan told the participants, which included the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the president of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, that although the Kingdom has suffered from terrorist attacks, it has managed to “drastically degrade and defeat these terrorists.

“We have taken numerous counter measures at the national, regional and international levels and upheld international law and relevant resolutions on prohibiting actions such as committing, financing, inciting and participating in terrorist acts.

“We have also complied with all resolutions and decisions of international counter terrorism agencies.”

He called on member states to couple their access to counter-terrorism instruments with a “genuine desire to combat and eliminate this phenomenon,” and to devote more effort to the first pillar of the strategy: “Most importantly to education, development, justice and the rule of law, given their contributions to eliminating the root causes of the problem.”

He also stressed that a distinction must be made between terrorism on one hand and the right of people to self-determination, sovereignty and resisting foreign occupation on the other.

“Condemning terrorism must go as far as condemning terrorism committed by states,” he said.

Thomas-Greenfield warned that as the world’s counter-terrorism approach evolves, “we cannot waver on human rights and free expression. Because ultimately, our steadfast commitment to those rights and freedoms are our most powerful counter-terrorism tool of all.”

Guterres said that some progress has been made in the fight against terrorism but such progress has been “slow and not comprehensive.

“Years of increasing polarization, governance failures, and a normalization of hate speech have benefitted terrorist groups,” Guterres said.

“The threat stemming from white supremacist, neo-Nazi and other ethnically or racially-motivated movements is increasingly transnational. 

“It is also clear that terrorist groups will exploit hardships and inequalities related to the coronavirus disease pandemic.”

Guterres urged the international community to establish and strengthen “strong, just, and accountable institutions” as a pre-requisite to deny terrorists the space to operate, bring them to justice, and provide safety for the population.

To break the cycle of violence, Guterres called for the rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorists after serving their sentences. The secretary-general also called for a “human-rights reset” for counter-terrorism to avoid the latter being used to “infringe upon the rights and freedoms of people, the result (of which) is more alienation within communities and stronger terrorist
narratives.

He finally told member states that they bear “the ultimate responsibility to prevent technologies from falling into terrorist hands,” where social media is already being used to foster hate speech and violent ideologies, blockchain and ransomware to fund terrorists, commercial drones and 3-D printing to access weapons, and deep-fakes to stoke conspiracy theories peddled by terrorists.


Saudi Arabia to stage global cybersecurity forum in February

Saudi Arabia to stage global cybersecurity forum in February
Updated 16 September 2021

Saudi Arabia to stage global cybersecurity forum in February

Saudi Arabia to stage global cybersecurity forum in February
  • The Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority will stage the Global Cybersecurity Forum in Riyadh from Feb. 1 to 2
  • The 2022 version of the forum follows on from the success of its first virtual dialogue held on April 7

JEDDAH: Experts from around the world are to take part in a major cybersecurity conference being held in Saudi Arabia next year.

The Saudi National Cybersecurity Authority will stage the Global Cybersecurity Forum in Riyadh from Feb. 1 to 2 under the patronage of King Salman and the title, “Rethinking the Global Cyber Order.”

A host of prominent speakers are being lined up to address the meeting which will be attended by key decision and policy makers, executives, and experts representing a range of international companies, organizations, government sectors, and NGOs.

The forum aims to push knowledge boundaries on core cybersecurity topics, encourage investment, build on existing foundations for global cooperation in cyberspace, and catalyze socioeconomic change.

Discussions and sessions will cover sub-themes including the evolving international order in cyberspace, current and future cybersecurity threats, and emerging technologies to combat them, human dimensions of cybersecurity in the future of work, leveraging market forces and economic incentives, and strengthening human-centric cybersecurity.

The 2022 version of the forum follows on from the success of its first virtual dialogue held on April 7 that attracted more than 250,000 individuals from at least 100 countries.

The first session of the Global Cybersecurity Forum was held in February last year, during Saudi Arabia’s G20 Presidency, when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman adopted international initiatives to protect children in cyberspace and empower women in cybersecurity.

Further information is available on the forum’s official website at https://globalcybersecurityforum.com.


Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
Updated 16 September 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths

Saudi Arabia announces 5 more COVID-19 deaths
  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 535,309
  • A total of 8,645 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced five deaths from COVID-19 and 85 new infections on Thursday.

Of the new cases, 20 were recorded in Makkah, 19 in Riyadh, nine in Madinah, nine in the Eastern Province, five in Jazan, four in Najran, three in Asir, three in the Northern Borders region, two in Al-Jouf, two in Hail, two in Tabuk and one in Al-Baha.

The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 535,309 after 49 more patients recovered from the virus.

A total of 8,645 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.

Over 40.2 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Riyadh book fair set to kick off next month

Riyadh book fair set to kick off next month
Updated 16 September 2021

Riyadh book fair set to kick off next month

Riyadh book fair set to kick off next month
  • Organizers cut costs to expand global participation in the major publishing event

RIYADH: The Riyadh International Book Fair, one of the region’s largest cultural events, will open on Oct. 1 at Riyadh Front with the participation of Arab and global publishing houses.

Iraq will be the guest of honor at the 10-day international cultural fair.

The new session of the fair, being supervised by the Literature, Publishing and Translation Commission, will see a significant expansion of activities and events, representing 16 cultural sectors.

The commission has offered a 50 percent discount on space rent to publishing houses from around the world, dropping shipping costs and establishing an e-store and e-selling points for all publishers.

Saudi Cultural Minister Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan said that the books, publishing, language, translation and literature sectors receive great support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He said that the fair is an important cultural event in the publishing industry, adding that it highlights Saudi creativity and stimulates cultural participation and trade cooperation, so that Saudi Arabia can become a global gateway for the publishing sector.

The Riyadh International Book Fair will include for the first time an international conference for publishers on Oct. 4 and 5 to strengthen communication between local, Arab and international publishing houses, activate partnerships between related institutions and companies, and sustainably enrich the regional scene through discussion sessions, interactive activities, workshops and seminars.

The fair will include cultural and literary symposiums, poetry and art readings, discussion panels, interactive activities, and diversified workshops in the fields of art, reading, writing, publishing, book making, and translation.


Who’s Who: Abdulmohsen bin Hussain Al-Mushait, Saudi Institute of Public Administration chief in Asir region

Who’s Who: Abdulmohsen bin Hussain Al-Mushait, Saudi Institute of Public Administration chief in Asir region
Updated 16 September 2021

Who’s Who: Abdulmohsen bin Hussain Al-Mushait, Saudi Institute of Public Administration chief in Asir region

Who’s Who: Abdulmohsen bin Hussain Al-Mushait, Saudi Institute of Public Administration chief in Asir region

Abdulmohsen bin Hussain Al-Mushait has been the director general of the Asir region’s branches of the Institute of Public Administration since 2018.

Al-Mushait received a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1994 from the college of administration and economics of King Abdulaziz University. 

In 1997, he completed his postgraduate studies in business education at the IPA, specializing in office management.

Prior to his recent position he worked for four years as the director general of the general administration of printing and publishing at the IPA in Riyadh. From 2002 to 2008 he directed the publishing department at the same institute, where he was also a coordinator of numerous preparatory and training programs.

He served as the general supervisor of the institute’s internal and external publishing and book fairs for 10 years from 2002.

He has attended many training courses, seminars and conferences inside Saudi Arabia and abroad. He has been a member — and on some cases chair — of numerous training and development committees of the IPA.

Al-Mushait has conducted some 6,000 training hours, preparatory programs and seminars at the IPA, where he has developed several programs.

For his outstanding contributions and achievements, Al-Mushait was awarded the King Abdulaziz Medal of the third class. He has also received many national and international certificates of thanks and appreciation.

He is a member of numerous committees in the administrative governorate of the Asir region, where he served as chairman
of the housing committee for several years.


Saudi Arabia launches new healthcare model program

Saudi Arabia launches new healthcare model program
Updated 16 September 2021

Saudi Arabia launches new healthcare model program

Saudi Arabia launches new healthcare model program
  • Makken’ Healthcare Model Program will activate a transformation by task-shifting a selection of valued employees in the ministry of health
  • Dr. Sami Al-Solami, CEO of the Health Academy, said the project includes international partnerships with educational institutions and universities

JEDDAH: The “Makken” Healthcare Model Program was inaugurated on Wednesday to prepare the working force and build competencies within the health communities in Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Sami Al-Solami, CEO of the Health Academy, said the project was aligned with health practitioners and that a platform was launched to introduce the healthcare program to the public.

“Makken training will activate a healthcare transformation by task-shifting a selection of valued employees in the Ministry of Health to roles within the new model,” Al-Solami told Arab News.

“We are aiming to provide the best quality of health services that will have a positive impact on the health of the citizens.”

The program was inaugurated by Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, who is also the chairman of the board of trustees at the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties. The inauguration was held at the commission’s headquarters in Riyadh.

Al-Solami said the “Makken” program passes through four stages: The program, the readiness of the health communities, the trainer, and the trainees. He also noted the program includes international partnerships with educational institutions and universities.

Al-Rabiah said training and developing the health cadres will be an integral part of the healthcare program to elevate the overall system in the Kingdom.

“We are passing through a big transformation period for the healthcare system, and this transformation necessitates training and preparation for a new healthcare model and its requirements,” he said. “We need a different expertise and work style that ensures the efficiency of the healthcare system.”

Al-Rabiah thanked the Health Academy for its efforts in the new healthcare model, developing the training centers in the health communities, and the continued preparation and training of the health cadres.

In addition, he thanked the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, which founded the Healthcare Academy, and the Health Holding Company.

“We support this training and work jointly to achieve the estimated benefit and expand it in the upcoming period,” Al-Rabiah said.

Dr. Mohammed bin Ibrahim Al-Saghir, CEO of the Health Holding Company, said the idea of Makken is an extension of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in empowering individuals to oversee their own personal health.