Dr. Ashok Nigam opening remarks: at the launch of the report “Partnership in Development and South-South Cooperation”

May 15, 2016

Opening Remarks of

Dr. Ashok Nigam

UNDP Resident Representative & UN Resident Coordinator

On the occasion of the

Launch of the report “Partnership in Development and South-South Cooperation”

Hosted by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center

Intercontinental hotel, Riyadh

15-May-2016

 

Your Excellency, Dr. Abdullah Al Rabbeah, Advisor to the Royal Court, General Supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center,

Your Excellency, Ambassador, Faisal bin Abdulaziz Hashim, Director General, Economic Relation Division at MOFA

Your Excellency, Mr. Fawzi Alyan Al Saud, Director General, Operations Department at SFD

Your Excellency Ambassadors, Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Al Salaam Alaikum

I am delighted to join our Government partners today for the launch of Saudi Arabia’s report “Partnership in Development and South-South Cooperation – Official Development Assistance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.  This has been a collaborative effort by a Committee comprising of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance, The Saudi Fund for Development and the United Nations Development Programme in Saudi Arabia.

At the outset allow me to thank the committee for their hard work in the preparation of this report.  It was truly a partnerships between the three Government Ministries and UNDP.

I wish to express my sincere thanks and gratitude H.E. Dr. Rabbeah and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center for hosting the launch of this report. 

I would also like to thank Dr. Yousef Al Saadoun, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs for supporting this initiative from the start and Dr. Sulaiman Al-Turki, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance for his close engagement in this exercise.

UNDP is pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the Government to bring the magnitude and diversity of Saudi development and humanitarian assistance to a wider audience based on available Government data and information provided by the Ministry of Finance and The Saudi Fund for Development.

The Report, articulates the extensive nature of the development and humanitarian assistance that has been provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over the years.  It shows that in recent years, Saudi Arabia has increased its assistance significantly and in 2014 it reached 1.9% of GNI – the largest globally for 2014 based on this ratio – far surpassing the target of 0.7% of GNI.   Total assistance went up dramatically in absolute amounts in 2014 to reach a high of $14.5 billion.  Saudi Arabia also ranks among the top ten donors in dollar value in the ten year period 2005-2014.

The Report highlights the significant humanitarian assistance that the Kingdom has been providing along with grants and concessional loans.  People in the Kingdom have also made significant private donations through philanthropic organizations to people in need globally.   

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz. The Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif, the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and the people of the Kingdom for their generosity, including in particular for the assistance, both humanitarian and development, provided through the United Nations. 

Distinguished guests

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that the global community adopted in September of last year recognizes the tremendous challenges still ahead in many countries. 

Over the next fifteen years, the Sustainable Development Goals, which apply universally to all countries, aim to end all forms of poverty, reduce inequalities and tackle climate change amongst a number of other ambitious goals and targets. 

The 2030 Agenda has pledged to ‘leave no one behind’.

Goal 17 of the SDGs calls for the Revitalization of the global partnership for sustainable development.  A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. This inclusive partnerships is built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the center.

Distinguished guests,

Just recently, HRH Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Chair of the Council of Economic and Development Affairs, announced an ambitious plan to transform the Kingdom’s economy, Vision 2030.

The Saudi Vision 2030 has committed to provide opportunities for all and strive for partnerships with the private sector, non-profit sector, citizens and international experts.

Saudi Arabia is well-positioned at the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds, to not only lead by example in the achievement of the SDGs in the Kingdom but also support their achievement globally.  Continued commitment by the Kingdom to official development assistance will be important for achieving regional and global results.

We have an ambitious national and global commitment for the next 15 years.

The United Nations family, including UNDP, looks forward to working closely with the Kingdom to achieve the Saudi Vision 2030 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Shukran