Kingdom underlines need for global cooperation to protect human rights


Saudi Gazette report
UNITED NATIONS — Saudi Arabia has underlined the importance of promoting cooperation at the level of governments and international non-governmental bodies to protect human rights.
Saleh Bin Muhammad Al-Amiri, first secretary in the Kingdom’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations, lauded ongoing efforts being exerted at international levels to support the UNHCR and other bodies to meet commitments under the "Big Deal" and extending $443 million to national NGOs.
Al-Amri made the comments in a speech at the UN General Assembly while commenting on a report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about questions relating to refugees, returnees and displaced persons as well as humanitarian issues.
Al-Amiri also commented on the report of the UN secretary-general on assistance to refugees, returnees and displaced persons in Africa, which was included in the deliberations of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly.
Saudi Arabia also commended the attention paid by the UNHCR to achieve greater coherence, efficiency, transparency and accountability and its efforts to form strategic groups to guide its activities over the next five years.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis and the subsequent suffering of the brotherly Syrian people, the Kingdom has been at the forefront of countries trying to alleviate their suffering, Al-Amri said.
The Kingdom has received nearly 2.5 million Syrian citizens on its territories but does not treat them as refugees or place them in refugee camps. "This is to preserve their dignity and ensure their safety. The Kingdom gave them full freedom of movement and granted those who wanted to stay in the country residency permits. Such legal residents have reached hundreds of thousands. They enjoy the same rights as other foreign residents in the Kingdom," the Saudi diplomat said.
Saudi Arabia also provided support and care to millions of Syrian refugees in countries neighboring Syria, such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The efforts included providing humanitarian assistance in coordination with the host countries as well as with the international relief organizations. Such assistance exceeded more than $800 million and was both in cash and kind. This was apart from donations made by individual Saudis on many occasions.
As for the brotherly Yemeni people, the Kingdom treats them as visitors after their links to their legitimate government was cut off. The Kingdom has provided various facilities to about 500,000 Yemenis, including exemptions in the residency and labor regulations, and fines for entering illegally into the country. The Yemeni visitors were also allowed to bring in their family members.
Over 285,000 Yemeni children are enrolled in Saudi public schools free of charge. The assistance provided by the Kingdom to Yemeni refugees inside Yemen (Al-Abr Camp), Djibouti (Abkh Camp) and Somalia has exceeded $42 million.
The Kingdom has also provided relief and humanitarian aid worth $400 million to the Yemeni people via King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief).
As to refugees from other countries, the Kingdom extended aid reaching $59 million to the UNRWA in February 2016 to help the Palestinians and $30 million to Afghan refugees in Pakistan. The Kingdom has pledged to give $20 million to help Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. – SG/SPA