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Saudi Arabia is determined to honor all its human rights commitments, says UN envoy

NEW YORK CITY: Saudi Arabia is committed to fulfilling all of its obligations under international human rights treaties and is committed to cooperating with all bodies established under such treaties, a committee heard on Thursday. the UN.

The pledge was made at a meeting of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly by Abdul Aziz Alwasil, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN. One of the six main committees of the GA, it deals with human rights, humanitarian affairs and social issues. It meets annually in October and aims to complete its work by the end of November.

Saudi Arabia is a party to five core UN human rights treaties covering: economic, social and cultural rights; combat racial and gender-based discrimination; the prohibition of torture and enforced disappearances; and protecting the rights of children, migrant workers and people with disabilities.

Alwasil told the committee that his country has embarked on a major program of human rights reforms since the launch of its Saudi Vision 2030 development strategy. institutions that protect human rights, and the development of remedies, particularly at the level of the judiciary, which is the main guarantor for the protection and promotion of human rights,” he said. .

“My government also supports human rights associations and institutions, as well as individuals, by engaging them in relevant systems, programs and policy projects.

“These reforms, and the brief period in which they were carried out, indicate the Kingdom’s determination to move forward in implementing all that would promote and protect human rights. My country’s reform plans have also gone beyond the boundaries of basic human rights to include programs that improve the quality of life and ensure the prosperity and well-being of all residents of the Kingdom.

The Saudi envoy reiterated the Kingdom’s emphasis on cooperation with international mechanisms relating to the protection and promotion of human rights. He said that programs aimed at building national capacities are underway, in accordance with a memorandum of understanding between the Kingdom, represented by its Human Rights Commission, and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. ‘man.

As Saudi Arabia continues to push forward human rights reforms domestically, Alwasil said that does not mean it is not “reaching out to provide humanitarian support to all those affected in disaster and conflict areas around the world”.

According to the UN, Saudi Arabia ranked third in 2021 among major donor countries. Just last week, the Kingdom announced a $400 million humanitarian aid package for Ukraine, including food and medicine.

Additionally, Saudi aid to Palestine over the past two years has reached a value of $500 million, Alwasil said. He reiterated that the Palestinian cause remains the “first cause” of the Kingdom and “will remain so until the brotherly Palestinian people obtain all their legitimate rights, the first of which is the establishment of their independent state with East Jerusalem as capital city “.

Meanwhile, standing in solidarity with the people of Yemen in the face of aggression by the Iran-backed Houthi militia is not an option for the Kingdom, Alwasil said, but “a duty”.

He reiterated the Kingdom’s support for all international efforts to achieve a political solution in the country based on Security Council resolution 2216 and other regional initiatives, and again condemned the violations of civilians’ rights. Yemenis by the Houthis “from which neither adults nor children are spared”.

Alwasil promised that his country would continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people. Saudi authorities say the value of aid provided to the country so far exceeds $19 billion.

The ambassador also addressed the plight of the Rohingyas. He said his country attaches great importance to the suffering endured by this Muslim minority and is following the situation of this and other minorities in Myanmar “with great concern”.

He commended the efforts made by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to provide support to the Rohingya, including through its work with the Third Committee.

Regarding the war in Syria, Alwasil called for an “urgent political solution to bring Syria out of its crisis, eliminate terrorist organizations and external influences, and allow the return of Syrian refugees to their homeland so that they can begin to rebuild”.

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