KSA Statement to The High Level Political Forum 2020

19 July 2020
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious
Your Excellency Madam President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen
Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you,

We, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, believe that what the world is experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the pains and the challenges, is a historical opportunity that we must seize.

Undoubtedly, the world after this pandemic will never be the same again. While this pandemic disrupted daily lives all around the world, impacting healthcare systems, the global economy and supply chains within and across borders, it also created an opportunity to rebuild more sustainable economic, social and environmental systems focused on improving the quality of life.

If there is only a single lesson to be learned from this crisis, it would be our need for cooperation and concerted international efforts to find effective solutions that addresses the interim challenges in light of rapid and unforeseen changes that have curbed the anticipated progress towards achieving social welfare, economic prosperity and environmental development.

Madam President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen
The overarching theme of this year’s Forum, “Accelerated Action and Transformative Pathways: Realizing the Decade of Action and Delivery for Sustainable Development ", illustrates the Kingdom’s commitment towards achieving the sustainable development goals across economic, social and environmental dimensions, all of which are fundamentally aligned with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision and national plans.

On the social front, since the spread of COVID-19, the Kingdom prioritized the health and safety of citizens and residents alike, implementing precautionary and preventive health measures in accordance with the Custodian of the Two Holly Mosques guidance to take all necessary measures to confront this pandemic and limit its impact. Accordingly, the Saudi government reviewed and redirected spending to the health sector primarily as well as other heavily affected sectors.

As for other development areas, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia quickly implemented several measures to combat the pandemic.

The government immediately adopted a series of initiatives directed to support the private sector including small and medium enterprises, targeting economic activities most impacted by Covid-19 such as the postponement of tax payments and bearing large sums of salaries to Saudis and injecting liquidity into the economy.

In addition, Saudi Arabia was able to adapt to the rapid changes by harnessing the digital and technological means to provide primary services including virtual learning, e-government services and remote working.

Quality information technology and communication infrastructure continue to play a vital role in building more sustainable and resilient communities, particularly as we combat the challenges of the pandemic and overcome its impact.

Regarding the environment, despite being the least affected by this pandemic, the Kingdom continues to reinforce its climate change actions in alignment with our commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Kingdom joined the Framework Agreement on the International Solar Alliance, which now has 122 country members.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has reached the most competitive price in wind power generation on a global scale.

In this regard, it is worth mentioning that during Saudi Arabia’s G-20 presidency, the Kingdom has adopted two significant initiatives related to the environment.

The first relates to reducing desertification and increasing green areas and the other utilizes to the carbon circular economy- both of which will significantly affect the preservation of the environment and sustainability of natural resources.

Madam President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s sustainability journey is progressing with institutional policy at the forefront of creating an enabling environment for all stakeholders to fulfill their roles and responsibilities in achieving the sustainable development goals and in line with national priorities.

This year, the Kingdom is leading the efforts of the G20 with a spirit of global cooperation and strives to reach consensus and achieve tangible results on critical issues related to humanity and the sustainability of the planet's resources.

The Saudi presidency will lead the work towards "Realizing Opportunities of the Twenty-first Century For All" focusing on three main priorities: “Empowering People, Safeguarding the Planet and Shaping New Frontiers” by adopting strategies that utilize the benefits of innovation and technological development.

Madam President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies & Gentlemen
With this unsettling start of the "Decade of Action", we must recognize that despite the efforts made by the United Nations and member states, there is a critical need to multiply the efforts in light of the magnitude of challenges and our ambition to create a sustainable world.

We call upon the international community to assess, prioritize and continue to be innovate in achieving sustained economic development, nurturing communities to be resilient to potential disruptions.

Therefore, I would like to affirm the Kingdom’s commitment to enhance cooperation with the United Nations and strategic partners.

The Kingdom also looks forward to continuing a constructive dialogue and collaboration on sustainable development priorities during its presidency of the G20 to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs locally, regionally and internationally aiming to improve the quality of life and protecting planet earth.

Finally, we thank the countries that presented their voluntary national review for this year, and for the success stories and lessons learned included in the field of sustainable development.

We hope to share more of our journey with you next year focusing on the Kingdom’s Sustainability Roadmap: A National Vision with Global Partnerships.

Thank you, Madam President.