Multilateralism is vital in COVID era, says Saudi envoy

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi. (KSA Mission to UN photo)
Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi. (KSA Mission to UN photo)
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Updated 02 April 2021

Multilateralism is vital in COVID era, says Saudi envoy

Multilateralism is vital in COVID era, says Saudi envoy
  • During meeting at UN, Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi highlights successes of Kingdom’s G20 presidency

NEW YORK: Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, the permanent Saudi representative to the UN, on Thursday reaffirmed the Kingdom’s commitment to multilateralism.

Through its presidency of the G20 last year, he said, Saudi Arabia had worked to emphasize the importance of multilateralism and enhance global cooperation to better tackle the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. It reacted quickly to adapt its G20 agenda in response to the emerging new realities during the health crisis, he added.

Speaking during a G20 sherpas’ meeting at the General Assembly, Al-Mouallimi reiterated the Saudi commitment to the UN. He said the country is also committed to promoting “global cooperation in order to ensure the challenges the world faces today are addressed in a timely and non-discriminatory manner (and) to promote collective work to maintain peace and stability.”

He continued: “We take pride in being the first Arab country to host the G20, but also in being the presidency that will be remembered for taking immediate action to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, to protect people’s lives and livelihoods, preserve and safeguard the planet and harness the potential of innovation to shape new frontiers.”

He said that empowering people, safeguarding the planet and shaping the future by adopting long-term strategies designed to share the benefits of technological innovation, were the three pillars that had guided the Saudi vision for its G20 presidency.

Under the Saudi presidency, G20 governments had endorsed the group’s support for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts in developing countries, guidelines on quality infrastructure for regional connectivity, and financing for a sustainable development framework, Al-Mouallimi said. They also resolved to play a leading role in efforts to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, and implement the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA), he added.

The SDGs are a set of 17 interlinked goals adopted by UN members in 2015 with the aim of eradicating poverty and building a better, sustainable future for all. The AAAA is a comprehensive set of policy actions and concrete measures designed to finance sustainable development, transform the global economy and assist with achieving the SDGs.

Al-Mouallimi said that during an extraordinary meeting of G20 leaders convened by the Saudi presidency in March last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, they had made a “decisive commitment” to work together to tackle the emerging health crisis. They also issued a joint call for the required resources to be made available to protect the world’s most vulnerable people, and to ensure the restoration of growth and recovery at a global level.

“The G20 members and invited countries pledged more than $21 billion to support funding in global health,” he added. “Saudi Arabia pledged $500 million to support global efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic. And G20 members have injected about $11 trillion into the global economy to counteract the social, economic and financial impacts of the pandemic.”

Developing and low-income countries, especially those with high debt levels and a high dependence on hard-hit sectors such as tourism, are suffering the most, said Al-Mouallimi.

“The G20 launched a debt-suspension initiative for the least-developed countries that would allow beneficiary countries to defer $14 billion in debt payments due for the years 2020 and 2021, and use these amounts instead for financing their health systems and social programs,” he said.

“The G20 has also been working on unleashing access to financial opportunities for all, including women and youth, accelerating digitalization and connectivity to ensure the continuity of business in global crises, and stabilizing the labor market, especially for the most vulnerable groups.”

Within the framework of the G20, Al-Mouallimi said his country will continue its work “to safeguard the planet for current and future generations by promoting climate adaptation, protecting natural resources, and financing sustainable development.”

Italy holds the presidency of the G20 this year and will co-chair the COP-26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. During Thursday’s UN meeting, Italian ambassador Luigi Mattiolo briefed member states on progress as his country prepares for the group’s main annual summit, which is due to take place in Rome in October.

Al-Mouallimi said that he trusts the Italian presidency to further consolidate the efforts of G20 governments.

“We look forward to working together efficiently and effectively toward the betterment of the world,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors

Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors
Updated 23 sec ago

Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors

Saudi king, crown prince register as organ donors

RIYADH: Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have registered in the organ donation program of the Saudi Center for Organ Donation, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) announced early Wednesday.

(Developing)

 


Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases
Updated 56 min 2 sec ago

Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases

Saudi Arabia confirms 13 COVID-19 deaths, 999 new cases
  • The Kingdom said 1,286 patients recovered in past 24 hours
  • 8 mosques temporarily closed after some people tested positive for coronavirus

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia recorded 13 new COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 7,098.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 999 new confirmed cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 428,369 people have now contracted the disease. 
Of the total number of cases, 9,169 remain active and 1,358 in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 352, followed by Makkah with 260, the Eastern Province with 120, Madinah recorded 54 and Asir confirmed 50 cases.
The health ministry also announced that 1,286 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 412,102.

The ministry renewed its call on the public to register to receive the vaccine, and adhere to the measures and abide by instructions.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs temporary closed eight mosques in four regions after some people tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of mosques closed to 1,129 within 94 days, 1,114 of which have reopened after being sterilized.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 160 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 3.32 million.

 


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr
Updated 12 May 2021

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman receives call from Bahraini counterpart, Omani sultan for Eid Al-Fitr

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman received a phone call on Tuesday from Bahrain’s King Hamad to extend greetings on the advent of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr holiday.
King Salman also received a phone call from Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq, congratulating him on Eid Al-Fitr.
King Salman also received a similar call from head of Chad’s Transitional Military Council Mahamat ibn Idriss.
The king reciprocated the sentiments, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Eid Al-Fitr, or Festival of Breaking the Fast, is celebrated by Muslims all over the world following the fasting month of Ramadan. It was announced earlier on Tuesday that Eid will start on Thursday.


Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations

Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations
Updated 12 May 2021

Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations

Saudi foreign minister condemns Israel over Palestinian evictions, Al-Aqsa Mosque violations
  • Arab League angrily denounces Israel’s ‘excessive force’ in Gaza

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister on Tuesday condemned Israel’s attempts to evict Palestinians from their homes.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan said the illegal practices of Israeli forces, especially during Ramadan, represented a flagrant violation of international charters.

His comments came during an emergency session of the Arab League foreign ministerial council to discuss Israeli violations in occupied Palestinian territories.

Prince Faisal said the Kingdom condemned the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli forces, violating the sanctity of worshippers, and attacks against the Palestinian people.

The Saudi foreign minister said the Kingdom “categorically rejects Israel’s plans and measures to evict Palestinians from their homes and impose sovereignty over their land.”

Saudi Arabia also condemned any unilateral measures violating international resolutions and undermining the chances of resuming the peace process.

Prince Faisal said: “The Kingdom stands with the Palestinian people, and supports all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, enabling the Palestinian people to establish their independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders agreement, with east Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative”

Saudi Arabia urges the international community to take steps to ensure Israel halts its violations, and to protect the Palestinian people, their sanctities and rights, he added.

The Arab League foreign minister’s council called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to proceed with a criminal investigation into war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinians.

It also called on the court to investigate the displacement of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and other occupied Palestinian areas. 

Weeks of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces flared up to an exchange of fire on Monday between Hamas in Gaza and Israel. The fighting continued on Tuesday, drawing international concern and condemnation of Israel.

The Arab League’s council of foreign minsters approved the formation of a committee comprising of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Qatar, Egypt and Morocco.

The committee will communicate with members of the UN Security Council and other world powers to “urge them to take practical steps to stop the illegal Israeli policies and measures in Jerusalem.”

The foreign ministers strongly condemned the crimes committed by Israeli forces against unarmed Muslim worshipers in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which escalated dangerously during Ramadan, and led to hundreds of worshippers being injured and arrested.

The statement also condemned the storming by Israel of Al-Aqsa, Islam’s third holiest site, saying that the attacks could ignite a cycle of violence that threatened regional and international security.

The council said it holds Israel responsible for the consequences of these crimes that violate UN resolutions and international law.

The ministers alo strongly condemned campaigns organized by Israeli settlers, and supported by the Israeli army and police, which aim to displace Palestinians from Jerusalem, including the families of the flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

The council described the actions as an apartheid ethnic cleansing campaign, sponsored by the Israeli government.

It also strongly condemned the bombing and “excessive force” that deliberately targeted civilians in Gaza where at least 28 Palestinians have been killed. Two Israelis have been killed by rocket fire.


Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem
Updated 11 May 2021

Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem

Saudi Arabia condemns eviction, forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem
  • Kingdom reiterated its support for the Palestinian people and rejected Israeli violations of their rights
  • The Organization of Islamic Cooperation held an emergency session

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday reiterated that it rejects Israel’s violations of the rights of Palestinians, and strongly condemns its plans, and evacuation operations, for the forced displacement of families in East Jerusalem.
The Kingdom’s permanent representative to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Saleh Hamad Al-Suhaibani, said the Israeli violations flagrantly contravene the principles of international humanitarian law, and defy UN Security Council resolutions.
He added that the “Kingdom’s continued support for the Palestinian people stems from its deep belief in the importance of the just Palestinian cause, and the need to intensify international efforts to end this long-running conflict in order to restore their legitimate rights and establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
His comments came during an emergency session of the OIC, chaired by Niger — which currently holds the rotating presidency of the organization’s Foreign Ministerial Council — to discuss Israeli attacks on occupied Arab land, especially Jerusalem.
Al-Suhaibani said the Kingdom rejects and condemns Israeli plans and operations that aim to remove, forcibly, Palestinian families from their homes in Jerusalem and impose sovereignty, and the consequences this could have.
He also condemned “any unilateral measures and any Israeli violations of international legitimacy resolutions, and anything that undermines the chances of resuming the peace process and international efforts to achieve regional security and stability.”
Saudi Arabia will continue to defend the cause of the Palestinian people in regional and international forums, the foremost of which is the UN Security Council, he added.
“At a time when Muslims all over the earth are preparing to celebrate Eid Al-Fitr and complete the obligation of fasting with joy and pleasure, we find that our Palestinian brothers are being exposed to attacks and provocations by the Israeli occupation forces with the aim of carrying out evictions and forced displacement of Palestinians in Jerusalem,” said Al-Suhaibani.
“This is a flagrant violation of the principles of international humanitarian law, and UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2334 which affirms that east Jerusalem is Palestinian land, and the establishment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and an obstacle to achieving permanent and comprehensive peace.”
Saudi Arabia reiterates its complete support for the Palestinian people, their legitimate rights and all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue in a way that enables them to establish an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 border agreement, with East Jerusalem as its capital, he added.
The Kingdom also calls on the international community to take immediate action to compel Israel to halt all practices that violate the rights of the Palestinian people, “who have suffered greatly and are still struggling to obtain their most important legitimate rights to establish security and safety, achieve economic growth, and improve their conditions,” Al-Suhaibani said.