3rd Term 4th Year, 1425 - 1426 A.H.
The Speech of King Fahad bin Abdul Aziz in the Inauguration of Forth Year of Third Session of The Shura National Council on 2/5/1425 A.H. corresponding to 20/6/2004 B.C.
Dear members of The Shura National Council
It is our pleasure today to commence the works of the forth year of third session of your Council. It would be wise to meet regularly every year to preview our internal and external policy of our country and to highlight the updates; it is also due to remember the wisdom and tolerance of our religion that were highlighted in its invitation to consultation in ruling.
Saudi Arabia is based on Islam. This was confirmed by the basic law of ruling that stated that Saudi Arabia is an Islamic country. Islam is its religion. Ruling the kingdom is driven by the Quran and the ways of our prophet. It is based upon justice, consultation, and equality according to Islamic legitimacy.
Islam is a religion of mercy and peace that leads to goodness and shows it. It forbids evil and alienates it. It calls nations to recognize each other and coexist peacefully. It warns against offence and aggression and prohibits doing mischief on earth.
It is unfortunate to see that Saudi Arabia is subject to acts of terrorism that terrified people and killed them. Those who committed them aimed to shake stability, and undermine security, a target that is far-reaching for them, by the will of Allah. They would be hindered from achieving their goal by deep solidarity between the government and people, by the awareness of security bodies and involvement of every individual in maintaining the security of this country and its stability. We would not allow mischief makers led by a perverse thought to harm the security of this country or shake its stability. Terrorism is a mischief on earth and if some persons and categories that belong to Islam adopted some terrorist acts that happened in the world, Islam has nothing to do with these behaviors. The real Moslem is innocent of such deeds and of sympathizing with their executors.
Saudi Arabia has never spared an effort in combating terrorism; it fights it locally and condemns it globally. The Kingdom was the forerunner to urge international community to fight terrorism.
It supported all peace-loving countries in fighting it. To achieve this target, it approved of the Arabic agreement to fight terrorism. It agreed on the unified security strategy of GCC countries to fight the phenomenon of extremism that accompany terrorism. It commits to completely support relevant terrorism resolutions of United Nations
Saudi Arabia is going forward in the path of development in a way that befits the interest of its people and their needs, and meets its interests in Arabic identity and Islamic legitimacy.
Because we desire to activate the role of citizens, and to push them to contribute in the field of development and advancement, and to be part of the process of modernization, the Center of King Abdul Aziz for national dialogue was established to originate the principle of dialogue that is based on a variety of insights in all issues, among which is developing the level of education, and handling the phenomena of violence and extremism and the role of woman in development.
The national society for Human rights was established too; it aims at protecting human rights according to the basic law of ruling, and in line with declarations and charters of human rights issued by the Arab League, organization of Islamic conference, United Nation and its specialized organizations in a way that does not oppose Islamic legitimacy. It aims as well to cooperate with international organizations in this field.
There would be another governmental body for human rights that would be soon announced. The Cabinet’s resolution regarding widening the participation of citizens in local affairs via elections, through activation of municipal councils according to the law of municipalities and villages was issued, too.
Within the framework of continuous developing of laws, and out of our desire to bolster the regulatory role of The Shura Council and to accelerate the mechanism of its work, articles 17 and 23 of The Shura Council law were modified, which gave the Council the right of initiating draft laws and their modifications.
The security of the two holy mosques and serving pilgrimages and visitors is an utmost priority for us. In order that pilgrims and visitors could perform their rituals so easily and smoothly, the municipalities of Mecca and Medina and sacred places has undertaken to carry out developmental projects in these places.
Economically and socially speaking, achievements are evidences to the rise in these fields.
In the field of examining the managerial framework of foundations of the state, studies and decisions are still ongoing towards framing these bodies including the ministry of municipal and rural affairs. A Cabinet decision was made regarding separating ministry of labor and social affairs into two ministries. Specializations of labor force council were moved to the ministry of labor. Presidency of civil aviation was transformed into a general body that is financially and administratively independent in a way that enables it to develop advanced laws and forms in managing human resources. Division of pensions was transformed into a public corporation. The ministerial committee of managerial regulation still works in this regard.
Economically the Kingdom is still removing barriers, facilitating economical initiatives, encouraging foreign investment, adopting the strategy of economical variation, and developing an economical structure that is more capable of competing. In this regard, the Cabinet has approved of the general strategy of developing national tourism. Among the advantages of this strategy is the contribution of sector of tourism in providing a lot of vacant jobs for citizens in this field.
To gain highest returns for the Kingdom economically and socially throughout exploiting its resources of natural gas, the Kingdom has set “the strategy of gas”. The kingdom is the forth country worldwide that has gas reserves. It has signed contracts of gas with international oil companies, among which articles is employing 75% of national labor force in the projects. The bulk of investments in industrial field reached more than 254, 5 billion Saudi riyals. The number of factories increased to more than 3633, which include more than 342 thousand laborers in various activities of production.
Regarding the strategy of privatization approved by higher economical council and provision of additional and new investments by private sector that privatization entails, the Cabinet approved the decision of higher economical council regarding the list of facilities and kinds of activities targeted by privatization. Privatization of these facilities is being done successively and gradually.
The budget of current year shows the focus of the state on providing necessary structure to execute a comprehensive strategy to develop human resources. It has allocated big credits in the budget for general and vocational education. It included credits to open three universities and tens of technical colleges and vocational centers. This goes in line with the aim of the state to find a solution for problems of habilitation and employment of youths, and finding a national qualified and trained labor force that is able to fulfill the needs of work market. Other service sectors had credits for important developmental projects, along with focusing on projects of regions which strengthens the concept of balanced development in all regions in the kingdom.
General aims and strategic principals of the eighth developmental plan from the period 1425 A.H. to 1430 A.H. concentrate on fields of technology, and projects of development. They work on providing vacancies for male and female graduates, raising incomes of citizens, taking care of outputs of education and training, and investing rates of economical growth to enhance the living standard in general, increase the production, and raise human qualifications and quality. National policy for science and technology would contribute in providing a lot of jobs for both males and females in both private and public sectors.
Human development has always been the principal axis of social and economical development in the Kingdom. The state thus has been careful to increase the expenditures of educational, health and social services. Offering high quality health and educational services has always been on the top of priorities of successive developmental plans. Numbers of students enrolled in public and university education has increased coinciding with decrease of illiteracy of adults. The role of private sector and its contribution in providing educational services has also increased during the past years.
Talking about human development, we don’t forget to point out the lively role of women in development. Women in Saudi Arabia fulfill their tasks, and practice their rights in accordance with tolerant Islamic rules. The country has found them many fields of work. Efforts are continuing to widen these fields. The cabinet issued a decision to establish a higher national committee that is specialized in the affairs of women. Women also participate in forums of national dialogue, and in national society for human rights. The state is working to strengthen their capabilities towards effective participation in development and enabling them to employ their capabilities and donations in fields of production to serve society.
Efforts are being exerted to nationalize jobs and stop unemployment that is result of defects in labor market and the presence of huge numbers of non Saudi laborers. All this concurs with continuous revision of the system of education and training. Education is an investment in all members of the nation.
These accomplishments were backed, and supported by sincere association and correlation within the national ties between citizens and government. They were embodied in investment of developmental opportunities that were allowed by plans of economical and social development. All this is reinforced by relevance to this country with love, loyalty, devotion, and maintaining principals and achievements on which the kingdom is based.
The Kingdom is concerned with the Palestinian cause and has paid it great attention. This attention represents a genuine direction in Saudi policy according to principals set by the founder King Abdul Aziz. Israeli aggression against Palestinians, occupying Palestinian lands, building settlements and the isolating wall in order to impose a new reality on land from one side, executing assassination and destroying houses are all practices that hinder reaching justice and lasting comprehensive peace.
End of Speech