Saudi Arabia, allies slam ‘biased’ UN resolution on Yemen

Yemeni children accompanied by their fathers hold weapons during a gathering in Sanaa to show support for the Houthi militia. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 September 2018

Saudi Arabia, allies slam ‘biased’ UN resolution on Yemen

  • It comes after the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend an international probe of alleged war crimes committed in Yemen
  • Saudi Arabia and its allies bemoaned what they said was the council’s “failure to achieve consensus”

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and key allies have denounced as “biased” a resolution that renewed a UN-backed investigation of alleged war crimes in Yemen.
The condemnation was issued in a joint statement released by the Yemen government, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt. It comes after the UN Human Rights Council voted to extend an international probe of alleged war crimes committed in Yemen. “We are left with a resolution which is biased, and which clearly contradicts the clear mandate laid out by the UN Security Council,” said the joint statement. Rights council members voted in favor of the resolution in Geneva on Friday by 21 to 8, with 18 abstentions. Saudi Arabia and its allies bemoaned what they said was the council’s “failure to achieve consensus.” “In particular, we are disappointed that certain member states failed to consider the real and legitimate concerns of those states who are most affected by the situation in Yemen,” their joint statement said.
The resolution showed “disregard for Yemen’s sovereign right to give its consent to cooperate with international resolutions that deal directly with the human rights situation on its own territory,” it added. On the eve of the vote, the Yemeni government had announced it was ending its cooperation with the UN human rights mission, accusing it of bias in an August report on alleged war crimes. The report accused both government forces and the Houthi militia of violations of international law.
Earlier, Arab Coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki criticized the inaccuracy of the information in the report.
The report “failed to mention Iran’s role in Yemen, and the countless violations perpetrated by the Houthis, both against the Yemeni people and against Saudi Arabia,” Al-Maliki said.
The Houthis have fired more than 200 missiles at Saudi Arabia since it intervened in Yemen in March 2015.
The coalition accuses Iran of smuggling the missiles through the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida, the entry point for UN aid for millions of civilians.


Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

Updated 19 August 2019

Two new academies to boost Saudi arts, heritage and music

  • One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020
  • A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is to set up arts academies, including two in the next two years, offering a step toward academic qualification and enlarging the Kingdom’s footprint in heritage, arts and crafts, and music.

The initiative is part of the Ministry of Culture’s Quality of Life program. 

The minister, Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan, said investment in “capacity building” was one of the most important elements in encouraging the cultural sector, which enjoyed unlimited support from King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Kingdom was rich in diverse arts, talents and artistic production, Prince Badr said, and the academies would be a first step toward academic qualification in the arts within the Kingdom.

One academy specializing in heritage and traditional arts and crafts will start receiving applications in autumn 2020, targeting 1,000 students and trainees in long- and short-term programs. 

A second academy dedicated to music will receive 1,000 students and trainees from 2021.

The music academy in particular will be “the core of music production and talent development in Saudi Arabia,” Saudi musician, composer and producer Mamdouh Saif told Arab News.

The music industry was a large and diverse field, Saif said, and education was crucial. 

“The academy is the right place to launch the music industry in Saudi Arabia, and it will have a significant impact on Saudi youth, and young people in surrounding countries,” he said.

He expects “a very high turnout” for the academy among young Saudis. 

“Due to my expertise in this area, I receive many questions from people who want to learn music, but through private lessons,” he said.

“But the availability of an academy for this purpose, that teaches music in a methodological way, will be the right start for those interested in music.”