RIYADH, 25 August 2007 — Osama Al-Kurdi, a Shoura Council member, has been chosen as the deputy chairman of the Inter-Parliamentarians for Social Services (IPSS) following its meeting in Seoul.

Al-Kurdi, who is a versatile scholar and social scientist, was selected by the IPSS general assembly, which seeks to set up a legal and institutional framework to promote social services around the globe.

“This candidacy demonstrates the confidence of world community in the Kingdom and its political leadership. … The Kingdom has been marching from strength to strength under the wise leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan,” said Al-Kurdi.

He added that Saudi Arabia has been recognized by the IPSS as a major donor country supporting social welfare programs the world over.

“This is largely due to the efforts of Saudi governmental agencies, which are striving hard to support projects for the welfare of the poor and disabled people,” said Al-Kurdi, adding that the Kingdom has been endowed with resources to participate in humanitarian causes. “There are no economic factors that can prevent Saudi Arabia’s dynamic growth continuing throughout 2007,” said the IPSS deputy chief, adding that parliamentarians are advocates for development.

As for the issues discussed at the meeting in Seoul, an IPSS statement said, “The debates were mainly related to development policies and ways to promote coherence across policy areas to curb poverty, support medical services, help the disabled section of society. Saudi Arabia, which has become one of the fastest expanding economies in the region, has emerged as a major nation to support these initiatives.” The IPSS session was also addressed by another member of the Shoura Council Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Otaibi, who highlighted King Abdullah’s initiative to combat poverty, efforts exerted to fight unemployment, rights obtained by the foreign labor force and the Kingdom’s role in taking care of needy people across the world. Saudi Arabia is a founding member of the IPSS, which was created in 2003.

The Kingdom was co-opted as an IPSS founder member in recognition of its social welfare programs, especially for its efforts in the rehabilitation of disabled people. The IPSS has also appreciated the Kingdom’s special program to improve housing facilities and help the poor. The IPSS currently has 230 member countries and aims to build a social services network around the world.

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