Saudi Arabia and Sweden to promote scout programs for world peace

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman met visiting Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman met visiting Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf.

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman met visiting Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, who is also chairman of the World Scout Foundation (WSF) here on Wednesday.

They exchanged views on the “Messengers of Peace” program of the scout movement, applauding scouts working worldwide for peace.

John Geoghegan, WSF director, who is accompanying the delegation and coordinating the visit, told Arab News: “The visit by the Swedish king is in his capacity as WSF chairman and the reason for the visit is that the program is jointly supported by Swedish King Carl Gustaf and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.”

There are 40 million scouts working in different parts of the world, out of which, 23 million have taken part in the Messengers of Peace program, a global initiative designed to inspire both male and female youths from across the world to work toward peace and harmony, he said.

Geoghegan added that these volunteers are working in all parts of the world to do good deeds, including in some of the dangerous cities in Syria, and for Syrian refugees in other parts of the world.

He said the main agenda of discussion between the two kings was the Messengers of Peace program, in which the participants have accomplished the highest rate of achievements for the values which the program cherishes. They also reviewed what is going on, and discussed the future of the Messengers of Peace program, agreeing on having more scouts working to this end for global peace. He said Saudi Vision 2030 was under discussion as, “one of the key issues is developing active citizens, having more citizens in social activities and encouraging Saudi youths for the community service, which is exactly what Messengers of Peace is all about.” The Swedish king will meet scouts from Saudi Arabia on Thursday, before winding up his tour during the night, he revealed.

Geoghegan noted that Messengers of Peace scouts worldwide have conducted more than 712 million hours of service in more than 150 countries.

“It is really a difficult job to find the best among such a huge number of participants, but we have the voting system and chosen 18 distinguished participants from the world over,” he said.

King Carl Gustaf honored the heroes of Messengers of Peace, sponsors and supporters from around the world recognizing their contributions toward serving their local communities through rescue and relief programs, training and awareness programs, confronting disasters, and extending help to needy people in respective areas, he said, adding they were from 18 different countries including Saudi Arabia.

This occasion of honoring the Messengers of Peace is an annual event for distinguished scouts, leaders and supporters shortlisted from around the world under the patronage of the king of Sweden for being the chair of the WSF.

Abdullah bin Sulaiman Al-Fahd, vice president of Saudi Arabian Boy Scouts Association and a member of the World Scout Committee, said that the Messengers of Peace program is patronized and supported by the Kingdom.

Using state-of-the-art social media, the Messengers of Peace initiative allows scouts from around the world to share what they have done and inspire fellow scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities.


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