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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - By Asma Bozayan
PARIS — Princess Haifa Bint Abdul Aziz Al-Muqrin has been appointed Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
According to a source close to the organization, she succeeds Dr. Ibrahim Al-Balawi, who was relieved of the position, in which he was appointed in 2017.
Princess Haifa held several key positions at the Ministry of Economy and Planning. These included Assistant Undersecretary for Sustainable Development Affairs since December 2017; Acting Assistant Undersecretary for G20 affairs since June 2018; and head of the Sustainable Development Goals Sector between 2016 And 2017. She earlier worked as lecturer at King Saud University from 2008 to 2009.
Princess Haifa is holder of Master’s degree in Economics in 2007 from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in the United Kingdom, and BA in Economics in 2000 from King Saud University.
The appointment of Princess Haifa to the new position is considered as a landmark achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to empower Saudi women and enhance their work in leadership positions. Members of UNESCO and several NGOs welcomed the appointment.
It is worth mentioning that the Kingdom plays a prominent role in UNESCO, as it won in November 2019 the membership in its Executive Council for the period of 2019-2023.
The Executive Council is one of the most influential bodies of UNESCO, and the role of the Kingdom in it is important and pioneering, as it works through five committees and subsidiary bodies that regulate relations with partners in all disciplines.
Minister of Culture Prince Badr Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan said earlier that the Kingdom’s role in the Executive Council will be great based on achieving the goals and strategies of the United Nations through UNESCO, and extending cooperation with all members, in addition to seeking to achieve three main goals.
These goals include preserving the Arab culture and heritage; supporting innovation and technology for sustainable social development, and working to promote a tolerant global society. The minister also emphasized that the Kingdom will focus on culture, arts and technology, education and youth empowerment.
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