1997 News Story

Education minister attends UNESCO conference

Education Minister Dr. Muhammad Ibn Ahmed Al-Rasheed today in Paris addressed the 29th general conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and reported that Saudi Arabia spends more than twenty percent of its state budget on education, adding that the Kingdom's education strategy is based not only on extending opportunities to all citizens but also on generosity of expenditure.  Dr. Al-Rasheed went on to remark that technological advancement, which allows man to increase his abilities but also enables him to create weapons of mass destruction, has not provided mankind with the necessary equilibrium between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots', since wealth and power are concentrated in a few countries while the vast majority are left to face their fate.  There is therefore, he pointed out, a lack of balance between the advance of mankind in science and his backwardness in terms of behavior and ethics.  Pointing out a similar lack of balance in the individual's right to access of information and the ethical and legal repercussions of this knowledge, he praised UNESCO as leading a trend which calls for setting up global ethics for information, and recalled the 1996 worldwide campaign in support of education which yielded only U.S. $ 3 billion while double this amount was spent in the purchase of weapons over the same period.