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March KSA In Focus

KSA Mission Newsletter March 2017

The month’s issue provides an update on Saudi’s contribution to a new fund to protect cultural heritage from destruction by extremist groups, the situation in Yemen and Saudi Arabia’s appeal for peace in the country, the potential for greater cooperation between the EU and the Kingdom on counter-terrorism and HRH Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s promising visit to President Donald Trump in Washington.

La newsletter est également disponible en français: Focus Arabie Saoudite Mars 2017

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud made an official visit to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris last week.  The Deputy Crown Prince and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, highlighted the need to support the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage damaged by conflicts, especially in Yemen.

The Deputy Crown Prince pledged support for the country’s recovery plans, notably for the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage, including three World Heritage sites on the List of World Heritage in Danger. Both also stressed the importance of renewed initiatives for citizenship education, intercultural dialogue at a time marked by extremism, intolerance and violence. The Director-General emphasized the imperative need to fight youth radicalization through quality education and invited Saudi Arabia to attend UNESCO’s second conference on the Internet and Youth Radicalization, which will take place in Quebec later this year.

The Director-General expressed appreciation of Saudi Arabia’s support to the Organization, notably the Kingdom’s contribution to strengthening the Organization’s Arabic language capacity and key UNESCO activities. She also highlighted the importance of Saudi heritage, to be promoted as a force for dialogue and mutual understanding. Saudi Arabia has four sites inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, ten sites included on its national Tentative List and considerations are under way to provide more focus on the protection of natural heritage in view of potential nominations and future inscriptions.

Following the meeting, the Kingdom’s Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Ziad Al-Driss has said the world body is committed to cooperating with the Kingdom to see it achieve the goals of its Saudi Vision 2030. Irina Bokova has reportedly praised the Saudi strategy, and affirmed that the organisation is ready to cooperate with the Kingdom in the fields pertaining to UNESCO, particularly those related to education, culture and human heritage, in order to help it realize the vision.