Speech by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the 216th Executive Board of UNESCO Paris – May 15, 2023
Madam Chairperson of the Executive Board
Mr. President of the General Conference
Ms. Director-General of UNESCO
Your Highnesses, Excellencies, Permanent Delegates of Member States and Observers
Ladies and Gentlemen
May the peace, blessings, and mercy of God be upon you
First of all, I would like to announce the supporting of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the statement of the Arab Group, which will be delivered by the sisterly state of Kuwait.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains an active member of UNESCO’s activities, and the organization’s mission is to lay the foundations for peace. The Kingdom is an ever-active member in deepening international cooperation among member states. We believe in the importance of strengthening solidarity for peace and achieving the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which are in line with the objectives of our Kingdom’s ambitious plan: Saudi Vision 2030.
And after reviewing the Program Implementation Report, we would like to express our gratitude to the organization’s secretariat for their efforts to develop a clearer and more transparent format for the report. This format enables member states to monitor the organization’s achievements, challenges faced in the past year and facilitates ongoing work on the report to ensure greater inclusivity and precision, thus enabling the appropriate decision-making by Member States.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expresses its gratitude to the organization for its interest in the draft resolution submitted by the Kingdom and the sisterly State of Kuwait in the 215th Executive Board. The resolution aims to establish a global framework for open science in response to pandemics. Its objective is to create a flexible global system for capacity development and knowledge transfer. This will enable the countries with the greatest need for such a system to attain self-sufficiency in accessing information, ensuring their resilience in the face of any future pandemic. – God forbid.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia supports the strategy of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and looks forward to its effective and practical implementation. We reaffirm the importance of cooperation and collective action in serving the sustainable development of these countries.
We also refer to the organization’s strategy of human resources management and express our anticipation for achieving a balanced geographical distribution of employment within UNESCO. This approach will contribute to the desired human development for citizens of Member States, aligning with the organization’s mandate. It will also foster greater harmony in the organization’s work and among its personnel, while achieving the cultural diversity necessary for UNESCO to serve as an exemplary model in translating ambition into action.
In that same context, we would like to emphasize the importance of further capitalizing on the Junior Professional Officers Program (JPO). This includes encouraging the participation of experts from their respective countries and urging their employment within the organization. By leveraging their qualification, we can achieve greater investment returns in the organization’s interest and the fulfillment of its mandate.
On the heels of the successful World Conference on Cultural Policies (Mondiacult) held in the United Mexican States last year, we recognize the significance of incorporating the cultural dimension into the formulation of the United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development beyond 2030. Within this framework, we affirm the Kingdom’s commitment to preserving culture in its post-2030 development plan.
We also take pride in the Kingdom’s pioneering role as the first country to advocate for the inclusion of the cultural dimension in the agenda of the G20 Summit and to recognize UNESCO as a stakeholder. During its presidency of the G20 Summit in 2020, at the inaugural joint meeting of the G20 Ministers of Culture, we commend the countries leading the Group: the Italian Republic, the Republic of Indonesia and the Republic of India. We appreciate their dedication to this significant dimension and for incorporating it into the agendas of their respective G20 Summit Presidencies.
Ladies and Gentlemen
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has long been committed to promoting sports values, ethics and integrity. Within these efforts, the Kingdom strives to implement these values in the field of sports and advance sports integrity on a global scale. In February of this year, the Saudi capital Riyadh hosted the Global Ministerial Conference on Sports Ethics, Values, and Integrity 2023, marking it as the world’s inaugural conference of its kind. The conference aimed to contribute to the enhancement of integrity, sports values, and honest competition across sports-related domains, aligning with the Kingdom’s objectives that are in line with UNESCO’s goals in this area.
Within the framework of the ongoing cooperation between the Kingdom and UNESCO, we have recently witnessed the release of a joint newsletter. This newsletter stands as one of the outcomes of the productive partnership between the Royal Commission for AlUla and UNESCO. The objective of this partnership is to preserve and promote awareness of the documentary heritage in AlUla, while harnessing its potential as a valuable resource for intercultural dialogue and global citizenship education. This initiative falls under the auspices of the UNESCO Memory of the World program.
Finally, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia eagerly anticipates hosting the upcoming session of the World Heritage Committee in September. We extend a warm welcome to all Permanent Delegations of Member States to visit Riyadh.
Welcome to Saudi Arabia!
Thank you for listening – and may God’s peace, mercy and blessings be upon you