Organized by the UNDP and the Government of Saudi Arabia, the Conference took place on 24 and 25 April 2014 with the inauguration of HRH Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs and the participation of the representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations.
Over the two-day Conference in Riyadh the role of knowledge in national development was addressed by eminent experts, representatives of UN Agencies, Ministers and other high level government officials. The Conference covered three main themes:
- Human Resources and Education,
- Role of Research, Innovation and Investment,
- Information and Telecommunication Technology: Managing Knowledge and Promoting Performances.
A knowledge-based economy was considered to be a key driver for growth and sustainable development established by technology, innovation and creativity. At this important event UNESCO was represented by Mr Boyan Radoykov, Knowledge Society Division, Communication and Information Sector, who underlined in his address on the topic “Bridging the knowledge divides through ICTs in Education - empowering people, transforming lives” that:
Knowledge is produced as a result of reflection, thought, and becomes a personal view and response. Having this personal position, this personal sovereignty, acting in accordance with the acquired knowledge is fundamental for the citizen’s active and productive participation in society. (…) This is why we cannot just invest in technology – we must invest in ecosystems – in quality education, in information literacy, in public policies fostering freedom of the media.
Education is much more than information; it is much more than knowledge. Education gives to all women and men in the world the capacity to own their destinies, to make competent social choices. The right of access to education and knowledge remains a fundamental right that should be upheld with greater efficiency and imagination, in a spirit of equity and mutual respect.”