Saudi Arabia chairs 25th session of Commission on Science and Technology for Development 

Saudi Arabia chairs 25th session of Commission on Science and Technology for Development 
The Allée des Nations at UN HQ in Geneva. (Wikimedia Commons)
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Updated 10 April 2022

Saudi Arabia chairs 25th session of Commission on Science and Technology for Development 

Saudi Arabia chairs 25th session of Commission on Science and Technology for Development 
  • The Kingdom was represented by Director-General of International Affairs of the Communications and Information Technology Commission Eng. Mansour Al-Qurashi
  • The CSTD, which includes 43 countries, was established in 1992 to offer advice to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia was recently elected chair of the 25th session of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development, a subsidiary body of the UN Economic and Social Council. The Kingdom was represented by Director-General of International Affairs of the Communications and Information Technology Commission Eng. Mansour Al-Qurashi.

The session was held between March 28 and April 1 at the UN headquarters in Geneva.

This achievement reflects the Kingdom’s active participation in international organizations, its contributions to strengthening the digital infrastructure of developing countries, its pioneering role in the field of communications and information technology in the region and its advanced ranking among G20 countries in terms of market capitalization.

During the session, which was held in the presence of many high-level officials, the participants reviewed topics including the Fourth Industrial Revolution and how to harness science, technology and innovation for sustainable civilized development in the post-pandemic world. They further reviewed the progress made in implementing the objectives of the World Summit on the Information Society at the regional and international levels.

The CSTD, which includes 43 countries, was established in 1992 to offer advice to the UN General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council. The commission advises on issues related to science and technology and their effects on development, advancing their policies in developing countries and formulating recommendations and guidelines in this regard within the UN.

The commission is also responsible for the periodic follow-up on the implementation of the objectives of the WSIS.

Saudi Arabia’s nomination to chair the CSTD for the first time since 1992 strengthens the Kingdom’s leading international and regional position in terms of the commission’s work.


Arafat sermon to be translated into 14 languages

Arafat sermon to be translated into 14 languages
Updated 9 sec ago

Arafat sermon to be translated into 14 languages

Arafat sermon to be translated into 14 languages
  • 200m people globally expected to hear message of moderation, tolerance

MAKKAH: Live translation of the Arafat Day sermon, one of the most important events on the Islamic calendar, has been expanded to include 14 languages as Saudi Arabia’s leadership seeks to convey a message of moderation and tolerance to the widest possible audience.

Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, said that the Kingdom’s leadership is offering unlimited support to the development of the Prophet’s Mosque and Grand Mosque’s services.

As the live translation of the Arafat sermon enters its fifth year, the project has been expanded to include 14 languages, he said.

A media tour of the live translation site at Al-Nimra Mosque on Thursday was followed by a media briefing for the project at the presidency’s headquarters.

During the meeting, Al-Sudais said that the leadership is keen to convey Islam’s message of moderation and tolerance to the world, using modern technology to serve pilgrims and visitors.

Live translation of the Arafat Day sermon is a wide-ranging project for the world, and particularly for visitors to the holy sites, enabling non-Arabic speakers to listen in their native language, he said.

At that same location, the Prophet Muhammad made his declaration of human rights, the teachings of Islam and women’s rights, and adherence by the Sunnah.

The translation benefitted 1 million people in its first year, 11 million in its second, 50 million in its third, 100 million in its fourth and will reach 200 million people around the world in 2022, he added.

He said that the sermon was initially translated into two languages. This was increased to five and, later, 10 languages.

The leadership later approved translations in English, French, Malay, Urdu, Persian, Russian, Chinese, Bengali, Turkish and Hausa, with Spanish, Indian, Swahili and Tamil added to the list this year.

Al-Sudais said that the Saudi leadership supervised the advancement of the international live translation project to satisfy people of faith, fairness and wisdom around the world, adding that the project takes a stand against violence, extremism and terrorism.

King Salman emphasizes the importance of caring for pilgrims, and Saudi Arabia will always take pride in pursuing this mission with the highest efficiency, Al-Sudais said.

With this year’s Hajj season the largest since the coronavirus pandemic, the Kingdom will also ensure the well-being of pilgrims, allowing them to perform rituals with comfort and ease, he said.

Al-Sudais added that the translation project aims to convey a message of righteousness, justice, tolerance and moderate Islam to the world.

Along with human rights and the teachings of Islam, the Prophet affirmed the elimination of racism and sectarianism, he said.


Deal signed to reduce food waste in Saudi Arabia

Deal signed to reduce food waste in Saudi Arabia
Updated 9 min 44 sec ago

Deal signed to reduce food waste in Saudi Arabia

Deal signed to reduce food waste in Saudi Arabia
  • The “Negaderha” project by Savola plans to initiate campaigns targeting households in the Kingdom

RIYADH: The National Transformation Program, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiatives, recently signed an agreement with the Saudi Grains Organization and the Savola World Foundation to minimize food waste in the Kingdom.

The “Negaderha” project by Savola plans to initiate campaigns targeting households in the Kingdom as part of the deal.

The project has already distributed more than 1 million food containers to 143,000 households to combat food waste.

The NTP and SAGO plan to empower nonprofit organizations and ensure food security through making businesses more sustainable, encouraging volunteering, and limiting food waste.

The Savola World Foundation was established in 2019 under the supervision of the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development. It is a nonprofit organization focused on social development and preserving the environment.

The NTP was founded in 2016, and seeks to establish the infrastructure and conditions that will allow the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to implement the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

This will be done by reforming government operations, supporting digital transformation, promoting private sector development, forming economic partnerships, advancing social development, and ensuring the sustainability of key resources.


Saudi crown prince announces ‘national priorities’ for research, development projects

Saudi crown prince announces ‘national priorities’ for research, development projects
Updated 25 min 47 sec ago

Saudi crown prince announces ‘national priorities’ for research, development projects

Saudi crown prince announces ‘national priorities’ for research, development projects
  • The twenty-year long aspirations include developments in the fields of health, environmental sustainability, leadership in energy and industry

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced on Thursday national aspirations and priorities for the research, development and innovation sector to enhance the Kingdom’s competitiveness, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The twenty-year long aspirations include developments in the fields of health, environmental sustainability, leadership in energy and industry, and future economies in line with Vision 2030.

To achieve these goals, the research, development, and research sector will reportedly be restructured with the formation of a higher committee, led by the crown prince, which will enable legislation and regulatory standards in addition to project and budget allocation and performance monitoring.

Throught the program, Saudi Arabia aims to become a global leader in innovation, with targets of annual spending in this sector of 2.5 percent of the country’s GDP by 2040, which will add nearly SAR 60 billion ($16 billion) to the GDP by the same target year.

The program will also create thousands of jobs in science, technology, and innovation, SPA reported.

The Kingdom’s health has been given top priority through the program, which will provide the best in digital healthcare and supplying the world with the latest pharmaceutical technologies based on biotechnological advances.

Saudi Arbaia wants to find “radical solutions for chronic and non-communicable diseases” to increase the life expentancy of the population, SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia seeks to eliminate is water shortage and improve food security, and will be looking to become a global model in preserving the environment and developing water technologies through means like sustainable desalination, and food production through means of green spaces.

This will come in conjunction with existing technologies like carbon capture and low-cost electricity production.

Saudi Arabia will also seek to use its vast natural resources and current advantage as a leading global energy supplier to continue its prominence at the helm while innovating production of alternative energy including green hydrogen, solar, and wind.

Measures will also be taken to ensure the sustainability of the oil demand, SPA reported, in addition to developing the rapidly growing mining sector in a sustainable manner.


Grand Mosque ready to receive worshipers on first Friday of Dhu Al-Hijjah: Presidency

Grand Mosque ready to receive worshipers on first Friday of Dhu Al-Hijjah: Presidency
Updated 30 June 2022

Grand Mosque ready to receive worshipers on first Friday of Dhu Al-Hijjah: Presidency

Grand Mosque ready to receive worshipers on first Friday of Dhu Al-Hijjah: Presidency
  • Cleaning and sterilization operations have been intensified
  • There has been an increase in Zamzam water being distributed to pilgrims and worshipers

RIYADH: The Grand Mosque in Makkah is fully prepared to receive pilgrims and worshipers on Friday, the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques has said.

This Friday will one of the busiest during the year as many pilgrims have already arrived in Makkah ahead of Hajj which will start on the 8th of Dhu Al-Hijjah (July 7).

The presidency has enlisted 400 employees to receive worshipers and pilgrims, direct them to the mataf and various other prayer spaces, and regulate entry and exit to and from the Grand Mosque.

Cleaning and sterilization operations have also been intensified and there has been an increase in Zamzam water being distributed to visitors.

Around 4,000 employees clean the Grand Mosque ten times a day using 13,000 liters of disinfectants.

There are 25,000 Zamzam containers dotted around the mosque, 20 smart carts holding 80 litres of water are in operation, and 516 drinking fountains are available.

600 employees have been enlisted at the doors of the mosque to receive visitors and direct them to the correct areas, organize entry and exit, and support security personnel in diverting and directing worshipers when prayer areas get filled up.

100 employees are on hand to help pilgrims perform tawaf and other rituals in accordance with the correct manner, the presidency added.


Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen

Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen
Updated 30 June 2022

Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen

Saudi Arabia announces vital developmental projects in Yemen
  • Initiatives include 17 development projects in 6 sectors, valued at $400 million
  • A further $200 million will provide oil derivatives to operate power stations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has announced a number of vital developmental projects in Yemen to bolster the economy, the Kingdom’s deputy defense minister said on Thursday.

“The initiatives include 17 development projects in 6 sectors, valued at $400 million, in addition to $200 million in oil derivatives for power stations,” Prince Khalid bin Salman tweeted.

The projects will be carried out by the Saudi Development and Reconstruction Program for Yemen and aim to help the Yemeni people.

Prince Khalid met with the President of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council Dr. Rashad Al-Alimi and members of the council to convey the Kingdom’s support and appreciation for their efforts.

The deputy defense minister said Saudi Arabia is committed to alleviating the suffering in Yemen and achieving security, peace, stability, and economic development.