Saudi Arabia at UN seeks urgent global action on 2030 sustainable development goals

Saudi Arabia at UN seeks urgent global action on 2030 sustainable development goals
Saudi Arabia’s contribution of $87 billion to international aid projects underscored its commitment to combating global poverty and accelerating development. (FILE/AFP)
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Updated 20 July 2023
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Saudi Arabia at UN seeks urgent global action on 2030 sustainable development goals

Saudi Arabia at UN seeks urgent global action on 2030 sustainable development goals
  • End passive reflection on 17 SDGs, says Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al-Ibrahim
  • Collaboration, innovation, human skills investment are critical to end world poverty, inequality

UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday urged global leaders to embrace bold thinking and collaboration to achieve the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals that aims to end world poverty and inequality, and promote good health and quality education for all.

In a powerful speech delivered at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals at the UN in New York, Saudi Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal Al-Ibrahim acknowledged the challenges faced by the world at the midpoint of the SDG agenda.

“We gather here during this crucial point in the sustainable development agenda, each carrying our own experiences, stories, successes, failures, lessons, but also emotions,” he told the ministerial-level gathering. “We have the shared purpose of accelerating our collective ability to leave no one behind,” he added.

The forum is a central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 SDG agenda. It is held annually at the UN, bringing together its agencies, member states, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders, to assess progress, share experiences and discuss challenges.

The gathering provides a space for countries to present their Voluntary National Reviews on achieving the 17 SDGs.

Reflecting on the journey since the first VNRs, Al-Ibrahim highlighted three critical lessons that could pave the way for solid achievements in various fields.

The first lesson underscored the interconnectedness of global challenges, with their impacts transcending borders — from disease control to wildfires, agricultural disruptions to financial tremors, Al-Ibrahim said.

“The world has been getting ever more integrated for thousands of years. So, without collaboration, we will never solve the most complex global issues,” he said.

The second crucial lesson emphasized the importance of innovation and experimentation in driving economic change, which required a bold approach, Al-Ibrahim said.

The third lesson was to prioritize human capital development, with the knowledge and creativity of individuals being “the bedrock of societal progress.” He urged leaders to invest in education, healthcare, and empowering people to reach their full potential.

The minister said Saudi Arabia had, with various initiatives, embarked on a “momentous journey of transformation, with the SDGs deeply embedded into (the nation’s) framework.”

The Kingdom’s recognition of global interdependencies was showcased through the Middle East Green Initiative, a pioneering regional effort.

“This initiative is a testament to our commitment to environmental sustainability, the importance of renewable energy, and our understanding that regional challenges require collaboration and collective action,” Al-Ibrahim said.

Fostering a culture of experimentation, Saudi Arabia drew inspiration from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s commitment to “challenging conventional wisdom.” He said this commitment was “deeply ingrained in our daily policymaking process,” leading to significant economic transformation.

The country’s “unwavering commitment” to human capital development was demonstrated through tangible actions, including expanding access to quality education, providing a safety net for those in need, and enhancing healthcare services for citizens.

Saudi Arabia’s contribution of $87 billion to international aid projects underscored its commitment to combating global poverty and accelerating development.

Al-Ibrahim said the time for passive reflection was over. “I firmly believe that we can — and will — create a world that future generations deserve to inherit.”


Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation

Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation
Updated 5 sec ago
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Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation

Saudi, Yemeni attorneys general sign MoU to enhance judicial cooperation

RIYADH: Attorney General Saud bin Abdullah Al-Mujab welcomed his Yemeni counterpart, Judge Qaher Mustafa Ali, before the two signed a Memorandum of Understanding to bolster judicial cooperation between their countries.

The signing, at the Public Prosecution headquarters in Riyadh on Monday, affirmed a joint Saudi-Yemeni commitment to justice and crime prevention.

During the meeting, Al-Mujab discussed the longstanding ties between the two countries. He underlined the Saudi leadership’s dedication to strengthening judicial collaboration, aiming to bolster Yemen’s security and stability.

The attorneys general talked about opportunities for cooperation across various legal domains, with an emphasis on criminal law. They also explored avenues for sharing expertise and adopting modern judicial practices to advance their mutual objectives.


Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations
Updated 43 min 56 sec ago
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Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

Saudi Arabia launches project to help citizens find jobs in top global organizations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a recruitment platform aimed at helping citizens find jobs in top organizations worldwide.

 

The Dawli platform was launched on Monday during the LEAP 2024 technology conference in Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

 

Announcing the platform, government official Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri said the aim was to ensure citizens gain international experience.

 

Al-Mansouri thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for initiating and supporting the project.


Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

Saudi Interior Minister meets with Korean Minister of Interior and Safety

RIYADH: Saudi Minister of Interior Abdulaziz bin Abdulaziz received the Korean Minister of Interior and Safety Lee Sang-min in Riyadh on Monday.

The ministers discussed ways to enhance existing security cooperation between the nations, in addition to addressing a number of issues of common interest.


Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians
Updated 05 March 2024
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Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

Saudi Shura Council Foreign Affairs Committee meets with British politicians

RIYADH: Shura Council's Foreign Affairs Committee met with a delegation from the Foreign Affairs Select Committee at the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament in Riyadh on Monday.

The committee was chaired by council member Wael Al-Idrisi and the British delegation was headed by select committee chairman Alicia Kearns.

During the meeting, Al-Idrisi reviewed the historical relations between the Kingdom and the UK and stressed the importance of strengthening relations in all fields to achieve common interests.


Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future

Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future
Updated 04 March 2024
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Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future

Reading marathon promotes library culture, greener future
  • Bookworms’ efforts over three days concluded with pledge to plant over 2,500 trees in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Morocco

DHAHRAN: A reading marathon to promote library culture and environmental awareness was recently organized in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Morocco, with over a quarter of a million pages read.

The Arab libraries that participated in the three-day event were King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, also known as Ithra, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt and the National Library of Morocco.

The goal of the marathon was to plant one tree for every 100 pages read, which Ithra estimates would take an average reader one hour. The center said that 326,250 pages were read during the reading marathon, equivalent to 2,504 trees.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

The printing of physical books consumes a large percentage of trees, so the planting of new ones directly arrests some of that loss.

Upon arrival at the designated library during operating hours, participants registered at the reception and received a QR code which they used throughout the experience. They were gifted a bookmark and a notebook to log their details. Upon completing their reading for the day, they returned to the reception area to declare the number of pages they read, which were then logged.

HIGHLIGHTS

• According to Ithra, 326,250 pages were read during the reading marathon, equivalent to 2,504 trees.

• Ithra will plant the trees on the readers’ behalf in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification in Saudi Arabia.

• A token of appreciation was awarded to those who read 100 pages, 200 pages, 500 pages and 1,000 pages.

In an effort to encourage reading in public spaces, all had to read books in-person in order for it to count, participating on one, two or all three days depending on availability.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

A token of appreciation was awarded to those who read 100 pages, 200 pages, 500 pages and 1,000 pages.

At Ithra, a large screen updated the number of pages completed in real time, as well as showing the updated numbers from Morocco and Egypt.

“This is the largest reading marathon in Arab libraries, held for three days from Feb. 29 to March 2. It seeks to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life,” an official statement by Ithra said.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

Abdulrhman Al-Qahtani was one of the participants at Ithra. An avid reader, he drove a short distance to the center to join in the fun after coming across a post about it on social media. With his cup of black coffee situated on a small round table, he found a comfortable spot in a plush seat in the middle of the plaza and was immediately immersed in a book written by the late, great Egyptian author Taha Hussein.

Speaking to Arab News, Al-Qahtani said: “I have a ritual of reading every afternoon during the weekend, but this time, it’s with an even greater purpose. Normally, people read for their own personal pleasure or growth but this was an opportunity to do what I already do — and the world would also benefit.

Planting trees is going to help make the world more beautiful, but the lasting impact on our planet will be immense.

Abdulrhman Al-Qahtani, Reading marathon participant, Ithra

“Planting trees is going to help make the world more beautiful, but the lasting impact on our planet will be immense. I’m happy to do my part.”

Talking about the experience, he added: “Usually, I read on my own at various places with the sounds of laughter swirling around me. Here, I’m amongst other readers. Ithra did a great job in making this a suitable environment for reading. Instead of reading 100 pages, you’ll read 200.

“This is my first time participating and it has been such a great experience. I brought my own book but once I’m done, I’ll browse the books available here and I’m sure I’ll read pages from those, too,” he concluded.

The largest reading marathon in Arab libraries was organized ‘to inspire the society to read in public libraries, believing in the library’s role in enriching the scientific and cultural life.’ (Supplied/AN photos)

While many of the books on the shelves at Ithra were in Arabic, readers were encouraged to read any book in any language. They could bring their own, like Al-Qahtani, or borrow some from the shelves. The pages could also be from the same book or from multiple books.

The space directly beneath the iconic Ithra library also had seats for people to sit and read on. Ithra added temporary booths with books in the middle of the plaza for easy access.

Ithra will plant the trees on the readers’ behalf at a later date, in collaboration with the National Center for Vegetation Cover Development and Combating Desertification in Saudi Arabia. The other participating countries will also plant trees in their local communities.