DIRIYAH — The UNESCO and the UN Global Compact opened up a dialogue to reflect on the private sector’s role in safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage in a first-ever discussion in Saudi Arabia hosted by Diriyah, The City of Earth.
During UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh from Sept. 10-25, 2023, UNESCO and UN Global Compact (UNGC) Saudi Arabia Network convened a Forum on Sunday in At-Turaif, Diriyah, to recognize the considerable potential of the private sector to forge a road map for effective, innovative, and resilient partnerships to enhance accessibility, while protecting and safeguarding global heritage.
Under the strong conviction that the corporate sector can play a vital role in making natural and cultural heritage more accessible, the objective of this forum is to brainstorm on which effective, innovative and concrete partnerships could be developed to localize efforts to protect and safeguard the most significant heritage in the world.
This forum sought to assemble a diverse group of business leaders from across the Gulf States for roundtable discussions to tackle ‘World Heritage and Climate Change’ and ‘Priority Africa and World Heritage’.
Around 40 company representatives, members of the UN Global Compact, as well as experts from the World Heritage Committee and Ministry of Culture participated and thought of ways to develop a road map as next steps in the collaboration.
The outcomes of this meeting will be presented at a side-event to the World Heritage Committee on Sept. 12 to the States Parties.
Hosted by Diriyah the forum represents an excellent opportunity to attain a stronger engagement from key stakeholders contributing significantly and measurably to achieving vision 2030 in Saudi Arabia.
Additionally, it supports Diriyah’s development to become one of the world’s greatest gathering places, by embodying the rich heritage, culture, and hospitality of the Kingdom.
“This Forum is a great opportunity to further engage the private sector as partners to collaborate with us as we work towards protecting our shared World Heritage and achieving Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and future generations,” said Lazare Eloundou Assomo, director UNESCO World Heritage Center in his opening remarks.
According to Ibrahim Al-Helali, executive director, UNGC Saudi Arabia, “The UN GC Network in Saudi Arabia, alongside our valued partner UNESCO, is proud to lead the way in recognizing the pivotal role of the private sector in preserving our cherished cultural and natural heritage.
“Together, we are forging a path toward sustainability, resilience, and a brighter future for heritage sites worldwide, driven by our unwavering commitment to corporate responsibility and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah commented: “We are delighted to be hosting the 45th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Diriyah, every day we celebrate the culture, heritage, and legacy of Diriyah, and are excited to show the committee members the majesty of this destination, connecting people from around the world through Saudi culture.
“Events like these offer an opportunity to reflect on the incredible importance that our heritage plays in defining our identities. Preserving unique traditions and ways of life enables future generations to connect with those who have gone before them, deepening community and enriching lives. We look forward to the fruitful and impactful discussions to come.”
Both UNESCO and the UN Global Compact are strongly committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
World Heritage has long been recognized as an essential element for the achievement of development goals because of the way it promotes tolerance and respect as well as its contribution to the empowerment of women, young people, and communities.
SFD participates in 45th Session
of World Heritage Committee
The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) participated Sunday in an event in Riyadh titled “Investing in Heritage Preservation in Africa,” in conjunction with the Kingdom’s hosting of the extended 45th session of the World Heritage Committee.
Representing the SFD at the event was the General Manager of the Project Management Office Eng. Mohammed Bin Abdulaziz Al-Hussein.
During the event, Eng. Mohammed highlighted the SFD’s longstanding developmental efforts in supporting developing countries worldwide for over four decades. — SPA