President of the Arab Gulf Development Program (AGFUND), Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz, has confirmed that AGFUND is moving ahead to support the United Nations’ efforts in building knowledge societies, employing technology for development and eradication of poverty, and empowering Arab communities to achieve the goals of the Millennium.
Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz has received Mr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN-GAID), at his office in Riyadh and discussed several issues.
Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh briefed his Royal Highness on the latest development on the mission which has been recently assigned to him by the United Nations, to accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through the use of information and communication technology.
The objective is to create an electronic portal for hosting successful technology applications in economic, social, health and educational domains.
The meeting also included discussions on aligning AGFUND’s development policies with the mission of Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh; furthermore, His Royal Highness fully supports all the efforts in the direction of creating successful partnership between AGFUND and the United Nations, which has existed since the beginning of 1980.
His Royal Highness also stressed AGFUND’s interest in employing technology for sustainable development.
The Arab Open University is an example of AGFUND’s keen interest in development and in employing technology in its administrative and academic uses through its campuses in seven Arab countries.
In addition, Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh met with AGFUND’s executive management in order to identify and explore the frame of cooperation.
Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh was briefed about the program’s contributions in support of development, and aid provided to developing communities to reach the eight Millennium Goals, including eradication of poverty, and expanding the partnership for development.
Discussions have also been on developing possible programs in which AGFUND can contribute in its funding in order to achieve mutual goals of both AGFUND and UN-GAID.
Mr. Naser Al-Qahtani, executive director for AGFUND, stressed that creating awareness of the developmental applications of technology is a strategic goal of the Arab Gulf Development Program, especially in its new phase which is devoted to institutionalization, and pointed out that AGFUND’s International Prize for this year was entirely about developing the non-urban areas through the use of technology. He also stated that providing advanced technology to be used by the poor will help eradicate poverty, and that AGFUND, through its program, is working on establishing banks, for the poor, in the Arab world.
Mr. Al-Qahtani elaborated that any partnership between AGFUND and Mr. Abu-Ghazaleh, through the United Nations and its agencies working in the area of development, as well as the interest of both sides in the relationship between technology and sustainable development, will not only move cooperation forward, but will also serve development of the Arab world.