Saudi Arabia reaffirms sustainable development commitment

Saudi Assistant Minister for International Financial Affairs Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed speaks at the Fourth Forum on Financing for Development in New York. (Twitter photo)
Updated 18 April 2019

Saudi Arabia reaffirms sustainable development commitment

  • The Saudi Fund for Development has provided 688 loans to finance 656 projects across the developing world

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed its support for the UN’s Addis Ababa Action Agenda for sustainable development, at the UN Economic and Social Council’s Forum on Financing for Development in New York.

The country’s assistant minister for international financial affairs, Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed, stressed the importance of collective action to reduce the gap between developed and developing countries across various fields, focusing specifically on energy and infrastructure, and stated that the Kingdom remained a major international development donor, and was committed to increasing its role in the future.

The Saudi government is thought to have provided in excess of $116 billion to 95 developing countries since the agenda was agreed at a summit in the Ethiopian capital in 2015.

Al-Rasheed said: “The Saudi Fund for Development is considered one of the most important channels of foreign aid,” adding that it was responsible for 688 loans to finance 656 projects across the developing world, in transport, communications, social infrastructure, agriculture, energy, industry and mining.

He indicated that the Kingdom would also continue to play its role in stabilizing international energy markets, as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 program to move away from fossil fuel toward a more sustainable and diverse local, and by extension, global economy, sharing its technological advances with other nations.

Bringing sustainability, he said, was crucial for developing economies less able to rely on natural resources, and that it was the Kingdom’s duty to continue the important work of enhancing access to clean energy for the world’s least developed communities.




Saudi Arabia urges UN to bolster efforts to criminalize racism, hatred

Updated 22 May 2019

Saudi Arabia urges UN to bolster efforts to criminalize racism, hatred

  • Strong legislation in cyberspace stressed to combat extremism

VIENNA: Saudi Arabia has called on the UN to strengthen global efforts to criminalize racial discrimination, the promotion of hatred and intolerance.

Addressing an international legal conference in Austria, Dr. Abdullah bin Fakhri Al-Ansari, an adviser to the Saudi Interior Ministry, said the Kingdom is considering new laws to clamp down on what has become a major threat to world peace and security.

Al-Ansari, who is also the ministry’s director general of legal affairs and international cooperation, told delegates that urgent action is required to combat intolerance based on ideology and race.

Leading the Saudi delegation at the 28th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, at the UN’s offices in Vienna, he said Islam and Muslims in many countries have been subjected to deliberate campaigns of distortion.

Based on reports, Al-Ansari added that in the past few years, hatred and intolerance against Islam had reached “disturbing” levels.

The opening session of the meeting, which runs until May 24, began with a discussion on effective and humane criminal justice systems to prevent and respond to crimes motivated by intolerance or discrimination.

Al-Ansari reviewed the legislation and regulations enacted by the Kingdom to criminalize all forms of racial discrimination, hatred, intolerance, incitement, and dissemination of ideas based on racial superiority or hatred.

He said Saudi authorities are considering a new law to criminalize racism, hatred, the formation of racist organizations, attacks on places of worship, contempt for religion, the promotion of hatred, discrimination against individuals and groups, and the undermining of historical figures. The draft law also aims to protect society from discrimination on ethnic, tribal, regional, doctrinal, intellectual or political grounds.

Al-Ansari said hate speech based on extremist thought not only targets Islam and Muslims but also democratic regimes.

He urged all regional and international organizations to strengthen efforts to combat impunity for crimes against religions, condemn and prevent intolerance and discrimination, and continue to issue laws restricting hate speech against religions and their followers.

He noted the need for strong legislation in cyberspace, which he said has become a breeding ground for extremist ideas. The Saudi delegation joined representatives from Japan, Australia, Austria, Colombia and Mexico in presenting four draft resolutions on technical assistance to implement international conventions against terrorism, sexual exploitation, abuse of children and cybercrime.