Raising Awareness about the MDGs Among Students in Saudi Arabia
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representatives, together with UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Muna Abu-Sulayman, carried out visits to 9 girls’ schools in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Khubar during to present to the students the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which Saudi Arabia pledged to achieve by year 2015 following the endorsement of the “Millennium Declaration” by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and 180 Heads of States at the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.
The Millennium Declaration endorsed 8 development goals which call for the eradication of poverty and hunger; the achievement of universal primary education; the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women; the reduction of child mortality rate; the improvement of maternal health; the combat of HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases; the support of environmental sustainability; and the development of a global partnership for development.
Mrs. Muna Abu Sulayman delivered a presentation explaining to the students in intermediate and secondary levels the meaning of human development and the MDGs highlighting Saudi Arabia’s performance with regards to the achievement of the goals. The presentation relied to a large extent on the findings of the “Millennium Development Goals Report on Saudi Arabia” which was produced by the Ministry of Economy and Planning in coordination with UNDP.
Following the presentation, the UNDP team launched a painting competition among the students inviting each girl to create a painting to reflect each millennium development goal. A panel of judges consisting of a number of UNDP members, an art & painting expert, and UNDP’s National Goodwill Ambassadors Mrs. Muna Abu Sulayman and Captain Sami Al-Jaber evaluated the paintings and selected the 8 winners as well as the 1st and 2nd runners up for each goal. All paintings were exhibited at the UN House during the UN. Certificates and UNDP gift items were given to the winners as a form of appreciation for their participation and efforts.
As a result of this activity, UNDP Saudi Arabia considered the 8 winning paintings which displayed the various students’ signatures as the official MDGs posters in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The goal was to raise the youth’s awareness and sense of responsibility towards a better life, a further progress, and a thorough development.