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U.N.: Saudi Arabia Major Donor of Humanitarian Aid - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London, New York-The U.N. Secretary General spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, said that Saudi Arabia was a leading donor of humanitarian assistance in the region. He added that the meeting between Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday will focus on the situation in the Middle East and the major efforts made by the Kingdom in humanitarian aid.

In comments to Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, Dujarric said that Saudi Arabia’s role in humanitarian assistance is considered to be the largest in the region, adding that the expected meeting on Wednesday will focus on Saudi and U.N. concerns, including the current situation in the Arab world, in addition to Riyadh’s “positive role in humanitarian aid.”

Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary General Farhan Haq said that the U.N. shares strong ties with Saudi Arabia, adding that Riyadh was one of the founders of the international organization. Haq noted that Saudi Arabia became a U.N. official member on October 24, the same day which the U.N. was established. The Secretary General’s deputy spokesman also said that talks between the Deputy Crown Prince and Ban Ki-moon will tackle Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which the U.N. sees as a great opportunity that opens the door to sustainable growth.

In this context, President of the U.N. General Assembly Mogens Lykketoft welcomed the Saudi 2030 Vision, saying that it specified a group of goals to achieve a vibrant civil society, nourished economy and an ambitious nation through programs and implementable plans. In an exclusive statement to Asharq al-Awsat in May, Lykketoft noted that the vision is consistent with the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and Paris Climate Deal.

He also said that the Saudi vision is ambitious and is based on transparency and openness, with major guidelines to improve living standards and diversify the Saudi economy.

He explained that the vision aims at providing better opportunities for partnerships with the private sector in addition to creating an attractive environment for the sector.

“This new framework aims at building a renewable energy sector so that it benefits from natural potentials to generate solar and wind powers, encourage investments, and diversify energy sources,” Lykketoft added.

The President of the General Assembly called on Saudi Arabia’s government to exchange experiences with the United Nations in order to proceed in its vision and to participate in international conferences that deal with the implementation of this vision.

Meanwhile, John Ging, the Operations Director for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), hailed Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen, highlighting efforts deployed by King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aids in helping Yemenis overcome their sufferings. He added that through this center, Riyadh was offering many services to people in need in different areas of Yemen.

In the same context, Saudi Arabia has sent an urgent appeal to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the General assembly over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria.

On behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council states and 59 countries, Riyadh has called for an end to the violations committed by the Syrian regime against unarmed civilians.

Meanwhile, analysts have laid much importance on the talks between Deputy Crown Prince Salman and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with regards to the humanitarian situation in Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Libya, in order to reveal the true image of sufferings caused by armed conflicts in the Arab region.

The expected talks follow a series of meetings conducted between Prince Salman and top U.S. officials, including President Barack Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, as well as CIA Director John Brennan.

Prince Salman is also expected to visit Silicon Valley, the home of leading high-tech firms, to forge new technological partnerships within Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

In this context, Saudi Minister of Commerce and Investment Majed Al-Qasabi announced that negotiations with the leading company Apple were underway to open shops in Saudi Arabia.