Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen commended the Middle East Green Initiative (MGI) Summit and the inaugural Saudi Green Initiative (SGI) Forum, both unveiled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Defense.
The SGI aims to contribute to the effort of reversing the effects of the climate change across the Middle East, such as through increasing vegetation cover, reducing carbon emissions, combatting pollution and land degradation, and promoting wildlife conservation, Al-Othaimeen underlined.
“All countries targeted by the Initiative are members of the OIC and other international and regional organizations. This explains the huge amount of support the MGI and SGI initiatives have received from international organizations,” he said.
This is all the more so, the OIC chief explained, since both initiatives are designed to serve the interests of the member states in these organizations, and because these countries place environmental and sustainable development issues high on their agenda.
He also hailed the important and leading role of Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman Abdulaziz, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for their efforts to unite and strengthen global efforts to rise up to countless challenges facing the world, particularly in relation to the environment and the climate.
Al-Othaimeen pointed out that the MGI and SGI are consistent with the objectives of the OIC Charter, which calls for the protection and promotion of all aspects related to the environment, for the benefit of present and future generations, and for exerting all efforts to drive sustainable and comprehensive human development and economic well-being for the Member States.
“The two initiatives also give impetus to the resolutions where the Islamic Summit and the Council of Foreign Ministers stress the need to address economic and social challenges associated with the environmental situation in the region and the world, while increasing the contribution of clean energy and natural reserves in responding to these challenges,” he added.
Further, Al-Othaimeen elaborated that the SGI initiative is in alignment with the OIC Ten-Year Program of Action 2015-2025, where the call is on the Member States to intensify efforts to address environmental degradation and climate change, and to use a multidimensional approach enlisting relevant institutions for enhanced cooperation. The POA also emphasizes the need to pursue sustainable development in its three social, economic and environmental dimensions, and to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and plans.
The Secretary-General renewed the OIC’s commitment to combine efforts for the MGI objectives with Saudi Arabia, the States concerned and international and regional organizations, chiefly the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB), the Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), which follows up on the implementation of the resolutions of the Conference of Ministers of the Environment of the Islamic World, especially those relating to programs and projects for environmental improvement.