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Riyadh to Bring Together Cultural Organizations for 1st Time in 50 Years

Riyadh to Bring Together Cultural Organizations for 1st Time in 50 Years

Tuesday, 7 March, 2023 - 05:45
General view in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 21 2020. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

For the first time in 50 years, the Saudi capital is prepping for a global conference that brings together the best international organizations specializing in education, science, and culture to discuss the future of global cooperation, the increasing challenges linked to funding and geopolitical shifts, and commitments, as well as establishing serious collaboration initiatives, and an inclusive work system that meets the global coordination standards and accomplish the humanitarian goals.

The conference on the future of education, culture, and sciences, dubbed “Together for Change in the 21st Century,” is scheduled to be held in Riyadh on March 8-9 with the participation of over 100 regional and international foundations, including the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“The conference, a first of its kind international event organized by Saudi Arabia will address a series of challenges that hinder the efforts of international organizations, mainly the lack of funding, the outdated work mechanisms, and inadequate coordination among these organizations,” said Hani al-Moqbel, ALECSO’s chairman executive board.

The conference will help organizations rise into a new level on the long term, build an advanced work system, and establish communication and coordination among them, he added.

Saudi Arabia’s curation of this conference reflects its global leadership in the cultural field, as one of the most prominent supporters of UNESCO. The Saudi cultural body takes part in wide-scale projects, plays a major role with the organization, and leads most of the Arabic heritage portfolios in the UNESCO, in line with the Saudi Vision and the directives of Culture Minister Badr bin Farhan to present a model that relies on educational initiatives.

Ahmed Alblihed, secretary-general of the Saudi National Commission for Education, Science and Culture, described this international event as one of a kind, gathering this number of organizations specialized in education, culture, and sciences for the first time. He also highlighted the significance of this gathering under one roof in Riyadh, noting that it reflects Saudi Arabia’s position and role worldwide, and its growing influence in these sectors on the global level.

According to Alblihed, the preparations for the conference started nine months ago by the culture ministry and its partners in the three organizations, revealing that three more editions of the conference are planned within the two coming years to lay the ground for a fund that ensures the continuity of this assembly.

The secretary-general of the Saudi National Commission for Education, Science and Culture said the work of these organizations faces three main challenges: the lack of coordination, lack of active communication, and the lack of joint efforts that save time and energy. These organization work in one sector and one geographic area with no fair distribution among them, he said.

The conference consists of over 20 sessions and panels aimed at establishing a new joint vision, and enhancing the cooperation opportunities among these organizations, with the attendance of over 65 speakers including high-profile representatives from several international organizations.

The conference hosts discussion panels dedicated to shape the future of the international organizations in light of their adaptation to the demographic changes, set new opportunities to observe the UN sustainability goals, and promote digital communications, innovation, investments and financial solutions.

The program also includes several workshops that offer the participants efficient tools and resources that they can use in their work.

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