The Arab Council for Population and Development Concludes its Fourth Session

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The fourth session of the Arab Council for Population and Development concluded its proceedings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The session was held at the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) and was chaired by His Excellency Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Economy and Planning. The session was attended by ministers and delegates from 21 Arab states.

During the session, member states discussed recent global population trends and the most pressing population and development issues in the Arab world. The session aimed to enhance efforts to develop national population strategies, offer technical support, and enhance coordination and knowledge transfer between member states. Member states offered a number of policy proposals and recommendations on how best to achieve the region’s goals toward supporting development and economic planning.

His Excellency Alibrahim said, “Population dynamics and sustainable development will remain key priorities for the Council in the years to come. Developing human capital and strengthening institutional resilience must be a focus if we are to move forward and positively benefit from the region’s changing demographic landscape.

“We are confident that, through this Council, and with cooperation between nations to transfer knowledge and exchange ideas, we can benefit from the demographic dividend and achieve long-term growth and diversification.”

Her Excellency Dr. Hala Bint Mazyad Altuwaijri, President of the Saudi Human Rights Commission, whom participated in the session, said: “the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has developed a comprehensive family strategy that takes into account the needs of men, women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities and all others with special needs. Great emphasis has been placed on early childhood, which is a crucial stage toward building our society and investing in human capital.

”The Human Rights Commission works in conjunction with various authorities to support, enhance, and monitor how human rights are harmonized within the strategy. This ensures that individuals and society can fully participate in our development and achieve sustainable development goals that are in line with human rights. This includes promoting a culture of human rights, activating monitoring tools, responding to any abuses of human rights, and engaging with the international community through both government and non-government organizations.”

Her Excellency Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary General of the League of Arab States and Head of the Social Affairs Sector said, “It is crucial to implement specific actions to achieve the goals outlined in the Cairo Declaration on Population and Development 2013.

“Policies should be focused on human rights and prioritize the health and well-being of all individuals, particularly vulnerable and at-risk groups. We must also increase efforts to swiftly progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, particularly the goals related to population and development.”

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Economy and Planning presented the efforts of the Steering Committee for Sustainable Development, which focused on developing policies, rigorous monitoring and reporting tools, and strategic enablers to facilitate the implementation to achieve the 17 SDGs.

The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, Ministry of Economy and Planning, and Family Affairs Council, hosted an exhibition on the sidelines of the Council’s activities. The exhibition displayed the governments’ most prominent initiatives and achievements related to populations and regional development, as well as key strides made towards achieving sustainable development goals under Saudi Vision 2030.

The Arab Council for Population and Development was launched in Amman, Jordan in 2019. The Council aims at unifying Arab efforts in supporting population and development issues, offering technical assistance to member states to remain aware of regional and international developments, and helping Arab national councils to draw population strategies in line with their national needs.