The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reviewed its progress in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), during the high-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2022 held at the UN Headquarters in New York under the auspices of Economic and Social Council.
The forum is a UN platform for following up and reviewing progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Sustainable Development Plan.
On the sidelines of the forum’s activities, the Kingdom’s delegation held a virtual session, themed “The Kingdom’s Efforts Towards Achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, stressing the KSA’s total commitment to accelerating sustainable development plans in partnership and coordination with the international community.
The delegation is led by representatives from the Ministry of Economy and Planning, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, and the General Authority for Statistics.
In the session, the delegation discussed the progress made in the sustainable development goals. It highlighted the Kingdom’s current contributions and plans in achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals, which dealt with five goals within the framework of sustainable development, including quality education, gender equality, life below water, life on land, and partnerships to achieve goals.
Concerning the Kingdom’s efforts to attain SDG 4 (quality education), the delegation highlighted the progress made by the Kingdom and its plans to invest in the capabilities of its youth, which constitute an influential factor in drawing the map of the Kingdom’s future and its ambitious vision taking into account that over 40% of the Kingdom’s population are under the age of 25 years.
It also stressed that the Kingdom seeks in this context to open new educational paths for large segments of young people, enable e-learning and include digital skills in the educational process.
About SDG 5 (gender equality), the Saudi delegation spoke about the development that the Kingdom has achieved, stressing that KSA aims at raising the rate of women’s participation in the labor market, citing the World Bank study “Women, Business and the Law 2020” which underlined the tremendous improvements that the Kingdom has made in this regard, and the 2021 score of 80%, compared to 70.6% in 2020.
Moreover, the delegation addressed the pioneering scientific and technological projects that the Kingdom has been working on to protect life below water, referring to the joint six-week mission carried out in cooperation with Ocean-X, on board the OceanXplorer ship, which will result in new scientific research and broader knowledge about marine ecosystems in the Kingdom, increasing protection of coral reefs and the marine environment.
As for SDG 15 (life on land), the delegation cited the Kingdom’s plans to prevent desertification, and the Saudi Green Initiative, which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 278 million tons annually and plant 10 billion trees locally.
The delegation also reviewed the Kingdom's initiatives in this context, including the National Program for Environment and Sustainable Development Awareness, developing a plan to increase the use of local plants grown locally and regionally in parks and public places, and launching the Youth Green Summit, which aims to provide young leaders in the Kingdom and abroad with the knowledge and skills necessary to ensure a more sustainable future.
On the importance of partnerships and cooperation with the international community, the Saudi delegation stressed the need to increase cooperation in sharing data and statistics to mitigate the challenges posed by the coronavirus
pandemic, which hindered effective data collection during the pandemic.
The delegation concluded its participation by stressing the importance of international cooperation in overcoming the challenges facing countries and organizations, underscoring the Kingdom’s leading role and its effective efforts in achieving sustainable development goals, which are in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.