Helen Clark emphasizes role of the Kingdom in addressing global development

18 Apr 2010

Helen Clark emphasizes growing role of the Kingdom in addressing global development challenges

Riyadh, 18 April 2010 – UNDP Administrator Helen Clark met on Saturday with Prince Saud Al-Faisal Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs, during her visit to the Kingdom—the first by a UNDP Administrator. They discussed Saudi Arabia’s expanding support to global development efforts, particularly its assistance to humanitarian and post-crisis recovery all over the world and its recent pledge to recovery efforts in Haiti after the recent earthquake.

“Saudi Arabia’s development gains over the past forty years have been impressive, particularly in areas such as infrastructure and providing services like health and education to its citizens,” said Helen Clark.  “Saudi Arabia’s ongoing contributions toward humanitarian crises, most recently in response to the earthquake in Haiti, help people restore their lives with dignity and resume a path towards recovery.  We look forward to expanding our partnership with Saudi Arabia as we jointly tackle global development challenges.”

Helen Clark also met H.E. Mr. Ahmed Hakami, Vice Minister for Economy and Planning; Mr. Eng Yousef ibn Ibrahim Al Bassam, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Saudi Fund for Development, and Dr. Norah Al-Fayez, Vice-Minister for Education on Women’s Affairs.

“We discussed how UNDP can support the implementation of key elements of the recently adopted ninth National Development Plan for the Kingdom,” Helen Clark said after her meetings with government officials. “The plan outlines a number of critical development goals, including laying the foundations for the knowledge economy of the future, enhancing higher education systems to empower the rapidly growing youth population, and supporting a shift to expanded use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.”

In a separate event, Princess Adela bent Abdullah, hosted an evening for Helen Clark and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to meet a number of Saudi Arabia’s leading women in the fields of business, health, NGOs, media and education. Discussions focused on key developments on social issues and women empowerment, particularly in the areas of women’s education and women’s entrepreneurship.

UNDP has been in Saudi Arabia since 1965, providing assistance to help the Kingdom achieve its development goals. Current collaboration focuses on policy support for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, economic diversification, trade and investment planning, urban planning, environmental sustainability and public administration reform, and strategies for youth development.

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UNDP is the UN’s global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries, working with them on their own solutions to global and national development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners. Please visit: www.undp.org

Contact Information

For more information contact:
KSA: May Al-Faraj, Public Relations Assistant – UNDP Saudi Arabia, Tel: +966 488 5301, Cell:+966 553 440 111, e-mail: may.al-faraj@undp.org

Cairo: Noeman AlSayyad, Regional Communication Advisor – UNDP Regional Centre for Arab States, Tel: +20 2 27702242, Cell:  +20 10 181 187 6, e-mail: noeman.alsayyad@undp.org