Russia, Saudi-funded UN project to combat illicit arms’ trade launched

The UN on Friday launched a project funded by Saudi Arabia and Russia aimed at tackling terrorism. (SPA)
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Updated 23 February 2020

Russia, Saudi-funded UN project to combat illicit arms’ trade launched

  • The project supports the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy

NEW YORK: The UN on Friday launched a project funded by the Kingdom and Russia aimed at tackling terrorism, organized crime and the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons (SALW) in the Central Asian region, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The project seeks to strengthen criminal justice responses to prevent and combat the illicit trade in SALW and to disrupt the illicit supply of these weapons to terrorist groups.

The undersecretary-general of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT), Vladimir Voronkov, said that SALW had increasingly become the preferred weapon of many terrorist groups worldwide for their cheapness, accessibility, transfer, concealment and use.

He said that the relationship between terrorism and organized crime, including the illicit trade in SALW, was a serious threat to international peace and security. It also represented an obstacle to sustainable development and a threat to the rule of law.

“According to statistics, there were 100 million uncontrolled small arms and light weapons on the African continent alone, concentrated in crisis areas and environments facing security challenges," Voronkov said.

Ghada Wali, the executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said the relationship between terrorism and crime was a global challenge. “Any regional gaps in the face of these threats have far-reaching consequences for all. The new project looks forward to addressing a whole range of obstacles to progress, through which we seek to establish legal frameworks, strengthen law enforcement capacity and criminal justice, improve data and address gaps in cooperation.”

A member of Saudi Arabia’s permanent mission to the UN, Abdul Majeed Al-Babtain, said the problem of the illicit trade in SALW and transferring them to terrorist groups was a global concern.

He said that the complexity in dealing with the relationship between weapons, organized crime and terrorism was reflected in the multidimensional nature of the threat, pointing out that the Kingdom called for taking many measures in order to establish preventive mechanisms and a successful response.

“While this project is focused on the Central Asian region, it can offer lessons to and be implemented in other parts of the world, and this could serve as a good model for future phases,” Al-Babtain said, expressing Saudi Arabia's pride in funding the project.

The project supports the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, UN Security Council Resolution 2370, the Madrid Guidelines and the Firearms Protocol to the UN Convention against Transnational Crime, among other international legal instruments.

It will be implemented in 2020-2021 by the UNOCT and the UNODC, through the Global Firearms Programme, in close cooperation with the executive directorate of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The project will contribute to the enhancement of national legislative, strategic and operational capacities of countries in Central Asia countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, whose permanent UN representatives attended the event.


38k people register with Saudi national distance learning platform in 10 days

Updated 31 March 2020

38k people register with Saudi national distance learning platform in 10 days

  • The quality of the programs had contributed to increasing the number of enrollees, says director

JEDDAH: The number of people who registered with the Saudi e-training platform (Doroob) between March 16 and 26, across 365 various programs, has reached 38,000.

The director for the development of training programs at the Human Resources Development Fund (HADAF) and supervisor of Doroob, Mohammed Al-Shuwaier, said the training programs had been designed to promote distance learning and provide needed experience in all fields and specializations required by the labor market, in line with the governmental precautionary and preventive measures to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Al-Shuwaier noted that the quality of the programs had contributed to increasing the number of enrollees, with more than 3,500 people befitting from the interactive training sessions broadcast last week on Doroob.

Nahla Abul-ula, an HR expert, said companies in Saudi Arabia had been encouraging employees to benefit from online training opportunities for a long time through state-supported platforms like Doroob or through independent educational platforms.

“However, the global coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has made people more accepting of such modern means in order to keep pace with the accelerating life events,” the HR business partner at IKEA said.

“We will definitely see an increasing reliance on e-learning options in the coming period if the crisis continues,” she said.

E-learning is an individual effort, where learners seek to obtain information by themselves and employ the acquired skills to develop their abilities and experiences. Abul-ula considers virtual learning no less effective than classroom learning.

She said that employees and job seekers’ focus on development in this critical time will not only allow them to grow and take advantage of free time in their schedule but “will also give them better opportunities after the crisis is over.”

Doroob was launched by HADAF as part of the training and qualification programs aimed at developing the skills of students, job seekers and those wishing to be promoted in their jobs, to increase participation in the private sector and help job seekers find suitable opportunities. 

Doroob is an integrated program that provides e-training programs and certification upon completion of requirements.

To register for the e-training courses, interested people can log on to doroob.sa.