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Mr Mayor, ladies and gentlemen, we wish to take this opportunity to thank Dr Gold, President of the International Glaciological Society, for organizing this conference and would like to extend our thanks to Dr Robin, Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, for hosting our conference and providing us with all the facilities of his institute. We would also like to extend our thanks to the King Faisal Foundation and King Abdul-Aziz University for their contribution in sponsoring this conference.

As the population of our planet increases the means of providing mankind with sufficient food and a reasonable standard of living has become one of the major topics in the agenda of several world organizations and included in the future development plans of almost all nations. Investigations have already been set up by some countries to consider the possibilities of cultivating more land and to exploit more fully their natural resources, but none of these activities will be considered as economically feasible without the presence of an abundant supply of fresh water.

The hopes of many nations to expand their industrial and agricultural productivity have always been linked to the conventional water resource facilities they have in their own lands. It is also known that some of the countries who at present possess a sufficient supply of water for their existing industries foresee difficulties in the future for any further expansion. For this reason the idea of utilizing icebergs for the provision of water was proposed. After thorough investigations we decided to carry out extensive studies and practical field work to feed us with proper information and data before proceeding with the main project.

Since the formation of Iceberg Transport International Ltd two years ago, we have carried out research work, practical experiments, and investigations on various aspects such as routing and transfer optimization of icebergs. We realize the enormous task in front of us but by the will of God and the persistence of scientists who had shown their interest in our project we hope to accomplish our aim.

The main aim of this conference is to promote the exchange of scientific knowledge on the subject so that eventual transfer of icebergs becomes a feasible means of providing mankind with fresh water from new resources whenever the conventional ones are in shortage or cannot meet with our demand from fresh water.

Therefore we would like to express our appreciation to all scientists who are, through their scientific knowledge in the field, contributing in the realization of such a vital project, and would like to extend our thanks to the scientists who are attending and participating in the activity of our conference. May we also take this opportunity to express our thanks and appreciation to Mrs Richardson, the Secretary General of the International Glaciological Society, for the time and effort she has given to make this conference a pleasant and comfortable one for all participants and guests.