Prince Faisal bin Farhan to UN: A culture of peace, justice and the rule of law at the heart of fighting terrorism

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
1 / 4
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi attends second UN High Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States. (SPA)
2 / 4
Saudi Ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi attends second UN High Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
3 / 4
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (File/Reuters)
4 / 4
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (File/Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 29 June 2021

Prince Faisal bin Farhan to UN: A culture of peace, justice and the rule of law at the heart of fighting terrorism

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan called on all member states to implement the UN goals stated in the Counter Terrorism strategy. (SPA)
  • Saudi Arabia has managed to “drastically degrade and defeat these terrorists,” FM told UN on Monday
  • UN chief said member states bear “the ultimate responsibility” to prevent technologies from falling into terrorists' hands

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia condemns terrorism in all its forms, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the UN on Monday.

At the second UN High Level Conference of Heads of Counter Terrorism Agencies of Member States, Bin Farhan called on all member states and international and regional organizations to come together and implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism strategy in the face of this “persistent challenge to international peace and security.”

The UN Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNCCT), of which Saudi Arabia is a founding nation, is celebrating its tenth anniversary and Bin Farhan told participants that the center remains a vital and supportive partner of the UN system in combating terrorism.

Saudi Arabia pays particular attention to the financing of terrorism, Bin Farhan said. For that, the Kingdom has ratified a number of bilateral, regional and international agreements and stepped up international legal cooperation in criminal matters related to terrorism and its financing.

This year’s conference theme, “Countering and Preventing Terrorism in the Age of Transformative Technologies,” highlights the fact that the threat of terrorism has evolved with technology, but also, as US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield put it, provides the opportunity to harness technology to counter terrorism and prevent violent extremism from taking root in communities.

“Terrorists (have) adapted,” said Thomas-Greenfield. “They use communication technology to enhance their networks, recruit and inspire supporters, disseminate propaganda, and challenge our ability to prevent acts of terrorism. (Increasingly) they’re using advanced technology to actually perpetrate criminal acts.”

The American envoy called for a new strategy that keeps up with the evolving landscape of terrorism.

Bin Farhan said that his country’s counter-terrorism approach goes beyond conventional measures to include countering terrorist cybercrime through “legal and technological” means.

“The National Cybersecurity Authority and the Intellectual Warfare Center are examples of national institutions established to address the root causes of extremism and terrorism, as well as the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology, which counters extremist ideologies using new and innovative methods including by analyzing extremist narratives,” he said.

The Saudi foreign minister also highlighted the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed in April 2021 between the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology and the UNCCT which “shows the Kingdom’s commitment to supporting the international community’s effort in fighting the scourge of terrorism.

“Under the MoU the two centers will launch joint projects focused on capacity building, countering the use of internet for terrorist purposes, raising awareness among youth, promoting tolerance and supporting the victims of terrorism,” he said.

Bin Farhan also underscored his country’s attachment to the promotion of a culture of peace and dialogue. A case in point is the recent signing of an MoU between King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural dialogue and the UN Alliance for Civilization.

Bin Farhan told the participants, which included the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the president of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, that although the Kingdom has suffered from terrorist attacks, it has managed to “drastically degrade and defeat these terrorists.

“We have taken numerous counter measures at the national, regional and international levels and upheld international law and relevant resolutions on prohibiting actions such as committing, financing, inciting and participating in terrorist acts.

“We have also complied with all resolutions and decisions of international counter terrorism agencies.”

He called on member states to couple their access to counter-terrorism instruments with a “genuine desire to combat and eliminate this phenomenon,” and to devote more effort to the first pillar of the strategy: “Most importantly to education, development, justice and the rule of law, given their contributions to eliminating the root causes of the problem.”

He also stressed that a distinction must be made between terrorism on one hand and the right of people to self-determination, sovereignty and resisting foreign occupation on the other.

“Condemning terrorism must go as far as condemning terrorism committed by states,” he said.

Thomas-Greenfield warned that as the world’s counter-terrorism approach evolves, “we cannot waver on human rights and free expression. Because ultimately, our steadfast commitment to those rights and freedoms are our most powerful counter-terrorism tool of all.”

Guterres said that some progress has been made in the fight against terrorism but such progress has been “slow and not comprehensive.

“Years of increasing polarization, governance failures, and a normalization of hate speech have benefitted terrorist groups,” Guterres said.

“The threat stemming from white supremacist, neo-Nazi and other ethnically or racially-motivated movements is increasingly transnational. 

“It is also clear that terrorist groups will exploit hardships and inequalities related to the coronavirus disease pandemic.”

Guterres urged the international community to establish and strengthen “strong, just, and accountable institutions” as a pre-requisite to deny terrorists the space to operate, bring them to justice, and provide safety for the population.

To break the cycle of violence, Guterres called for the rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorists after serving their sentences. The secretary-general also called for a “human-rights reset” for counter-terrorism to avoid the latter being used to “infringe upon the rights and freedoms of people, the result (of which) is more alienation within communities and stronger terrorist
narratives.

He finally told member states that they bear “the ultimate responsibility to prevent technologies from falling into terrorist hands,” where social media is already being used to foster hate speech and violent ideologies, blockchain and ransomware to fund terrorists, commercial drones and 3-D printing to access weapons, and deep-fakes to stoke conspiracy theories peddled by terrorists.


UAE next stop in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official tour of GCC states

UAE next stop in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official tour of GCC states
Updated 17 sec ago

UAE next stop in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official tour of GCC states

UAE next stop in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official tour of GCC states
  • Saudi crown prince’s official tour of the GCC states comes from an earlier royal directive by King Salman

RIYADH: The UAE is next in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s itinerary of his official visit of GCC neighbors, which kicked off Monday with a meeting with Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.

Saudi Arabian companies and their Omani counterparts, which are fully-owned by the sultanate’s Investment Authority, signed 13 agreements reportedly worth more than $10 billion and spread across a number of sectors.

The crown prince was bestowed an award, the Oman Civil Order of the first degree – one of the highest Omani honors – by Sultan Haitham during their official talks at Al-Alam Palace in Muscat. The distinction is awarded to kings, heads of state, crown princes and heads of government whose countries have distinguished relations with Oman.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is one of the highest Omani honors during official talks with Sultan Haitham at Al-Alam Palace in Muscat. (Twitter: @OmanNewsAgency)

The leaders reviewed aspects of the existing bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields, and ways to support and strengthen the strong brotherly relations during their meeting, state news agency ONA reported.

Ahead of crown prince’s visit to the UAE, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has sent a written message to President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed regarding both countries’ ‘strong fraternal relations and ways to support and enhance them.’

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Sultan Haitham during their official talks in Muscat. (Twitter: @OmanNewsAgency)

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan delivered the King’s message to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, UAE vice president and prime minister and ruler of Dubai, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

The Saudi crown prince’s official tour of the GCC states comes after an earlier royal directive from King Salman to ‘communicate with the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and strengthen the brotherly ties for the service and interest of the peoples of the GCC countries.’

The crown prince is scheduled to meet later in his multiday tour the leaders of Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait ‘to discuss bilateral relations and ways to enhance them in all fields, as well as issues of common interest’ as per the royal directive.


Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness

Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness

Saudi Arabia, Oman agree to strengthen media and business competitiveness
  • On the eve of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s arrival in Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Oman signed 13 memoranda of understanding, reportedly worth more than $10 billion and covering several sectors

DUBAI: Oman and Saudi Arabia signed on Tuesday a memorandum of understanding in the field of media related to strengthening cooperation between the two countries in news, audio-visual and print media, Oman’s state news agency reported.
Another memorandum aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of national industries and marketing research, encouraging joint activities and developing countries’ ease of business and e-commerce index was also signed. 
The latest round of cooperation comes a day after Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman arrived in Muscat to meet with Sultan Haitham bin Tarik as part of his official tour of GCC states.
On the eve of Saudi Crown Prince Salman’s arrival in Muscat, Saudi Arabia and Oman signed 13 memoranda of understanding, reportedly worth more than $10 billion and covering several sectors.


154 KSrelief food aid trucks sent to Yemen

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
Updated 07 December 2021

154 KSrelief food aid trucks sent to Yemen

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates. (KSrelief)
  • KSrelief has implemented, in cooperation with its many humanitarian partners, a total of 644 projects in Yemen

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, Supervisor General of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSrelief), inaugurated the launch of 154 relief trucks from Saudi Arabia on Monday. 

The convoy included 30,399 food baskets (3.252 tons) for distribution in 15 Yemeni governorates.

The food aid is the first to be sent by KSrelief to Yemen as part of the comprehensive “Yemen Food Security Support Project”, which will continue into 2022.

In comments to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Al-Rabeeah stated that this convoy comes as an extension of the commitment of the government of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to provide ongoing assistance to the Yemeni people and to support them during their current humanitarian crisis.

Al-Rabeeah added that Monday’s convoy from KSrelief is part of the center’s impartial, comprehensive assistance to people in need in all parts of Yemen, and that all aid is provided according solely to need and without any other motive.

He added that the 154-vehicle convoy is the first in what will amount to a total of 973 trucks carrying more than 192,000 food baskets (20.540 tons) for a total cost of $29,978,000. The goal of the massive food aid delivery project is to alleviate the suffering of crisis-affected families across Yemen.

Al-Rabeeah said the aid will help to increase food security and improve the quality of life of Yemenis, adding that this aid is particularly important in light of the additional challenges being posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He stressed that KSrelief was keen to ensure that all aid reaches its targeted beneficiaries, and that the food baskets would be distributed through United Nations organizations and local partners in coordination with Yemen’s High Relief Committee.

KSrelief has implemented, in cooperation with its many humanitarian partners, a total of 644 projects in Yemen covering all key humanitarian sectors.


Who’s Who: Fahad Almutlaq, CEO of Sharqia Development Authority

Fahad Almutlaq. (Supplied)
Fahad Almutlaq. (Supplied)
Updated 07 December 2021

Who’s Who: Fahad Almutlaq, CEO of Sharqia Development Authority

Fahad Almutlaq. (Supplied)

Fahad Almutlaq has served as CEO of Sharqia Development Authority since September 2019.
He has more than 20 years of experience in managing comprehensive development strategies, urban planning, building integrated development, legislation and empowerment initiatives. Almutlaq served as chief strategy officer at the Council for Economic Affairs and Development, which took part in the national strategy of Saudi Arabia, Vision 2030, between 2017 and 2019.
Before that, he served as CEO of the Arabian Industry and Services Group from June 2014 to August 2018. Almutlaq led significant mergers and acquisitions, and directed strategies and plans to accommodate social changes in the region.
He has held several positions in the Saudi Ministry of Defense, building international experience through working with one of the world’s largest aerospace and defense contractors, BAE Systems.
Almutlaq also worked with major science and technology companies and oversaw the construction and operations of the largest aerospace and industrial facility in the Middle East between 2011 and 2014. Within the ministry, he served as head of business development and future support and planning in 2010, and as program manager, based in the UK, between 2007 until 2010.
He held several positions in the Saudi Electricity Company, including head of the project management and planning division. Almutlaq also worked on civil, urban and electromechanical projects between 2004 and 2008, served as senior project engineer between 2003 and 2004, and before that worked as a planning engineer in the department of facilities planning and land use from 2001 to 2003.
He now serves on the board of several organizations.
Almutlaq holds two master’s degrees and an MBA in project and construction management. He has completed several practical and executive programs, covering strategic planning and leadership training.


Saudi environmental security officers protect sea and land ecosystems

Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources. (Twitter: @SFES_KSA)
Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources. (Twitter: @SFES_KSA)
Updated 07 December 2021

Saudi environmental security officers protect sea and land ecosystems

Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources. (Twitter: @SFES_KSA)
  • Among the arrested are illegal firewood traders

RIYADH: The Saudi Special Forces for Environmental Security have apprehended dozens of offenders for environmental violations as part of a recent crackdown.

The forces, under the command of the Ministry of Interior, arrested individuals who illegally moved sand and soil in Jeddah and Tabuk. People who illegally entered the Imam Turki bin Abdullah Royal Reserve in northeast Riyadh and hunted wildlife in restricted areas were also detained.

Others were arrested while transporting local firewood and trafficking endangered fungi in Al-Muzahmiyya Governorate. Several other citizens were also caught selling local firewood in other regions of the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia is committed to protecting the environment and its natural resources across its vast territory. The Saudi environment law focuses on conservation, protection, development, pollution prevention, public health protection and the rational use of natural resources.

It also aims to make environmental planning an integral part of comprehensive development in industrial, agricultural and urban areas.

One practice that harms the Saudi environment is illegal dredging. Talal S. Al-Rasheed, a consultant at Gulf Energy for Environmental Consultations, warned that dredging and similar practices can negatively impact the environment and economy if studies are not conducted beforehand. Reduced fish stocks and damage to coral reefs are major consequences of poorly planned and illegal dredging.

Al-Rasheed added that taking sand and soil without a license is a “major disaster” because it changes the nature of the land by creating deep pits that cause accidents and endanger the lives of road users.

“Because the marine environment is sensitive to its habitat, when anything changes in nature, creatures begin to shift to other locations. Some of these habitats might not suitable for living. Because of the availability of suitable places for marine organisms, every species in the marine environment has a designated place to adapt to,” Al-Rasheed said.

Nasser M. Al-Hamidi, an environmental activist, said that burning or cutting trees in natural forests for wood is harmful to the environment and local communities due to smoke pollution.

He added that any attack on the environment, including dredging and stealing natural materials such as mountain rock deposits, poses a severe threat to the Kingdom’s natural beauty, which should be preserved for future generations.