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Saudi Foreign Minister outlines plans for better, greener Middle East

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NEW YORK, United States of America, September 24, 2023/ — Describing the national vision for 2030, Faisal bin Farhan Al Furhan Al-Saud said it centred on promoting development for future generations and empowering women and young people by developing their creativity.

Human rights are of utmost importance, he said, adding that Saudi Arabia has adopted laws to protect its citizens and is also working on building a better future in the Middle East.

Security hinges on cooperation

Regional security requires a just solution to the Palestinian issue, allowing for an independent State, he said, condemning all unilateral measures that violate international law. Riyadh is also assisting in efforts to resolve the Syrian crisis and finding a peaceful solution in Yemen.

Turning to other security concerns, he called for de-escalating the crisis in Sudan, and supported the withdrawal of all foreign forces in Libya.

With regards to Afghanistan, he said that country should not become a haven for terrorist organizations, calling for stepping up regional and international aid to assist in alleviating the suffering of the Afghan people.

Turning to the war in Ukraine, he said the world should “spare no effort to find a peaceful solution”.

Raising concerns about nuclear weapons, he said their elimination is essential.

“Security and stability are not possible without cooperation and coordination between States to prevent an arms race to acquire these destructive weapons,” he stressed.

Underlining national efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, he warned against a rise in Islamophobia and attacks on Muslims. In this vein, he welcomed the position adopted by the Human Rights Council on combating religious hatred.

Climate action

The stability of the global energy market is key to economic growth. For its part, Saudi Arabia is striving to meet the needs of consumers and producers on a global level while working with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Riyadh is also promoting climate adaptation measures and working towards reducing emissions, he said, calling for a gradual transfer to clean energy. However, national and regional circumstances related to sustainable development must be considered.

Noting the launch of the ‘Green Saudi Arabia’ and the ‘Green Middle East’ campaigns to reduce emissions and improve the quality of life, he said Riyadh is using the circular economy approach towards carbon neutrality, having doubled its contributions to this goal. In addition, efforts are under way to promote better governance of water resources.

“We also have an ambitious policy towards the future,” he said, adding that Saudi Arabia will host the forthcoming Expo 2030 in Riyadh.

“We’ll focus on prospects for a future focused on technology and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It will be an excellent opportunity to promote projects with universal impact that can foster cooperation to find solutions through innovation, inclusiveness, and sustainability.”

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