NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia is fully committed to its efforts in promoting and protecting human rights, said Abdul Aziz Al-Assem, the first secretary of the Kingdom’s permanent mission to the UN, reported Arab News.
“We must emphasize the importance of cooperation between countries and international organizations to promote human rights principles while taking into account cultural and religious diversity across countries,” Al-Assem said in his statement at the UN.
He added: “Saudi Arabia was keen on strengthening and maintaining its cooperation with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) through a memorandum of understanding (MoU) and the specialized human rights programs. The Kingdom has also signed a memorandum with the UN to train experts and build Saudi capacities in the field of international human rights law, especially with regard to the UN’s mechanisms.”
“The Kingdom has guaranteed women full rights under Islamic law and has given them the opportunity to contribute to human, economic and cultural development … Saudi women have achieved a lot lately, such as increased job opportunities, better education, an expanded participation in the economy, being allowed to engage in all business activities, playing an important role in national dialogue events, and participating in the media and medicine,” he said.
Moreover, he pointed out that there is a 20 percent quota for women in the Shoura Council (30 members), and women have the right to run for and vote in municipal elections, and are now allowed driving licenses.
“Saudi Arabia gives great attention to families and children, which are the most important axes of sustainable development. We have dedicated a hotline through which women and children can report domestic violence and have established the National Family Safety Program, which aims to protect families and children,” he added.
“The Kingdom is a member in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; thus it established the National Committee for Childhood, which collaborated with several agencies to prepare and carry out a series of preventive, educational and training programs in the area of child protection,” Al-Assem explained. “These programs are part of a joint project between the committee and UNICEF, which the Saudi government has supported with $750,000.”