Saudi Arabia condemns sexual violence ‘in all circumstances’: UN envoy

Saudi Arabia’s representative to the UN Mohammed Al-Ateeq speaks during a Security Council meeting on women, peace and security to discuss conflict-related sexual violence. (SPA)
Saudi Arabia’s representative to the UN Mohammed Al-Ateeq speaks during a Security Council meeting on women, peace and security to discuss conflict-related sexual violence. (SPA)
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Updated 14 April 2022

Saudi Arabia condemns sexual violence ‘in all circumstances’: UN envoy

Saudi Arabia condemns sexual violence ‘in all circumstances’: UN envoy
  • Victims in conflict zones must have access to justice, Mohammed Al-Ateeq tells Security Council meeting
  • Kingdom’s emergency aid ‘has helped more than 109 million women in 79 regions worldwide’

NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia’s representative to the UN has told a high-level Security Council meeting that the Kingdom condemns sexual violence in all circumstances, especially in conflict situations where victims face difficulty accessing legal and justice services.

Mohammed Al-Ateeq said that the world is witnessing an increase in all kinds of crises, and expressed his country’s regret over the victims of multiple forms of sexual violence in conflict areas.

He called on the international community to unite to achieve remedies for victims within their countries’ national systems and bring them full justice.

Al-Ateeq was speaking during a Security Council meeting on women, peace and security that discussed conflict-related sexual violence under the theme “Accountability as prevention — ending cycles of sexual violence in conflict.”

He said: “My country believes in the importance of including the voice of women in vulnerable communities, in all assessments of humanitarian needs, as well as involving them in the design and implementation of humanitarian programs, especially those affected by armed conflicts, in order to reach response plans that meet their actual needs, especially in emergency situations.”

He added: “Our contemporary world is going through many daily accelerating events and successive and overlapping crises, which add a new dimension to the negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic on the health, economic and social aspects, and even has clearly affected humanitarian work.”

Al-Ateeq said that these challenges make it imperative for countries to work on developing joint and comprehensive strategies and approaches that strengthen the role of women in responding to these crises, and facilitates their access to services provided to all, particularly women who care for their families, to maintain their ability and resilience.

Based on the important role women play in building societies, the Kingdom follows a specific approach when providing any humanitarian support targeting women and their needs through analyzing UN reports related to women to link them to the humanitarian needs in the affected countries, he said.

The envoy added that Saudi Arabia was keen to communicate with partners in the targeted countries in order to provide humanitarian and relief projects, focusing on alleviating the suffering of women and helping them to live a decent life.

“My country, represented by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, has contributed to supporting and empowering women at the humanitarian and relief level in various sectors of humanitarian work in areas of disaster and armed conflict, through implementing 788 projects in 79 regions around the world that included more than 109 million women beneficiaries, amounting to more than $520 million,” he said.

Al-Ateeq said that all of these projects aimed to contribute to raising women’s participation in the economy and labor force, building women’s economic capacities, and increasing their participation in education and training programs in countries affected by armed conflicts.

He added that these efforts include providing psychological and social services, protection services from the effects of gender-based violence, and legal services for refugee women.

He referred to the report of the secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict situations for January to December 2021, and said the Saudi delegation supported the content regarding the phenomenon of terrorist and armed groups using sexual violence as a means of destabilizing fragile societies, stressing that the continued armament, and the illicit flow of small arms and light weapons, are among the factors that have fueled widespread and systematic conflict-related sexual violence.

Al-Ateeq highlighted the documented violations and acts of sexual violence against women committed by the Iran-backed Houthi militia in their areas of control in Yemen, and reiterated the importance of taking the necessary measures through the Security Council to address sexual violence in conflicts, and to punish its perpetrators.

He called on the international community, specifically donor countries, to increase efforts to respond to crimes of sexual violence in conflict situations, stressing the urgent need for coordination and strengthening the interconnected approach between humanitarian work, development and peace to ensure comprehensive and sustainable development in which women participate as a fundamental pillar.

He also called on countries to strengthen proactive and preventive measures, activate appropriate awareness programs to address the root causes of sexual violence in conflict situations, and strengthen the leadership role of women in political, security and legal institutions as an important step.

Al-Ateeq stressed that based on its international commitments and support for all efforts to achieve international peace and security, Saudi Arabia is working to implement UN resolutions, as the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 considers women an important element of strength in society, believing in the importance of equal participation, and the need for their full involvement in all efforts made to maintain peace and security, and at all levels of decision-making.


Saudi Cabinet approves new regulations on surveillance cameras

Saudi Cabinet approves new regulations on surveillance cameras
Updated 07 October 2022

Saudi Cabinet approves new regulations on surveillance cameras

Saudi Cabinet approves new regulations on surveillance cameras
  • Public areas of hotels and residential buildings, as well as sport clubs and stadia, and mosques mong buildings required to install systems
  • The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior, Presidency of State Security and Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority to implement regulations

RIYADH: Regulations on the use of surveillance cameras in Saudi Arabia have been approved by the Council of Ministers, headed by King Salman.

The Kingdom’s Ministry of Interior, Presidency of State Security and Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority will now implement the regulations.

Buildings and institutions where the installation and use of cameras is mandatory, where their use is prohibited, as well as the punishments for violations of the law are outlined in the legislation.

Areas such as schools and universities, public and private health facilities, public transport and buildings such as government ministries and institutions are now required to install surveillance cameras on their premises.

Public areas of hotels and residential buildings, as well as sport clubs and stadia, and mosques, including the Grand Mosque and the Prophet’s Mosque, are also among buildings required to install systems.

The regulations also stipulate that it is prohibited to install cameras in any changing rooms, medical check-up rooms and operating theaters, toilets, salons and women’s clubs.

A set of penalties for violations include SR500 for low or poor quality of cameras; SR1,000 for poor installation and maintenance of systems and no signage informing of surveillance; SR5,000 for not recording and keeping footage; SR10,000 for installing cameras in prohibited areas; and SR20,000 for transmission or destruction of footage or camera systems.

An incentive, or financial reward, to the value of 10 percent of the relevant fine will also be given to any person who assists in the prosecution of violators of the law.


Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards rescue crew of fire-stricken ship off the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards rescue crew of fire-stricken ship off the Red Sea
Updated 07 October 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards rescue crew of fire-stricken ship off the Red Sea

Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards rescue crew of fire-stricken ship off the Red Sea
  • The incident occurred on the tanker about 123 nautical miles northwest of the Jizan Port

JIZAN: Saudi Arabia’s Border Guards have rescued the crew of a Panama-flagged commercial container tanker that caught fire while sailing in the Red Sea.
The incident occurred on the tanker about 123 nautical miles northwest of the Jizan Port, according to SPA.
Border guard personnel initially received the distress call from the Panamanian ship, informing them of a fire on board, and passed the information to group’s the command-and-control center in Jizan and other relevant authorities, who then provided the necessary support, according to Colonel Misfir Al-Qarini, official spokesperson for the Border Guards.
The operation, in cooperation with a foreign ship, managed to rescue 25 crew members of various nationalities and were evacuated to the port of Jizan, SPA reported.
They were met on the port by medical teams to assess their health conditions.
All the sailors are in good health and have been transferred to their place of residence, Al-Qarini said.


KSRelief distributes food baskets in Pakistan, Lebanon

KSRelief distributes food baskets in Pakistan, Lebanon
Updated 07 October 2022

KSRelief distributes food baskets in Pakistan, Lebanon

KSRelief distributes food baskets in Pakistan, Lebanon

DUBAI: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) distributed 3,147 food baskets, 96 shelter tents and 700 mosquito nets to people affected by floods in Pakistan.
The relief items benefited 22,064 individuals in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Gilgit-Baltistan province, Baluchistan province and Azad Kashmir province.
Meanwhile, 700 food baskets were delivered to 3,895 Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s West Bekaa region.
The initiative is part of KSRelief’s ongoing efforts to support food security for Palestinian and Syrian refugees, in addition to the host community in Lebanon.


Al-Asheikh leads Saudi delegation to G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit

Al-Asheikh leads Saudi delegation to G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit
Updated 07 October 2022

Al-Asheikh leads Saudi delegation to G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit

Al-Asheikh leads Saudi delegation to G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit

JAKARTA: A delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, headed by speaker of the Shoura Council Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Ibrahim Al-Asheikh, participated at the eighth G20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit on Oct. 5, 2022.

The summit, held in Jakarta, was themed “Recover Together, Recover Stronger.”

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Duarte Pacheco, and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Indonesia Puan Maharani, were also present.

Widodo delivered the opening speech and welcomed the various parliament speakers, stressing the importance of the group, which seeks to solve all problems facing the world’s population, referring to the significance of communication among all countries to realize economic recovery and create a more prosperous and developed world.

Indonesia is the host of this year's gathering of the world's top 20 economies, coming next after Italy (2021) and Saudi Arabia (2020).

The G20 members are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, US, and the European Union. Spain is also invited as a permanent guest.


Saudi Arabia’s Qassim launches breast cancer awareness campaign 

Saudi Arabia’s Qassim launches breast cancer awareness campaign 
Updated 06 October 2022

Saudi Arabia’s Qassim launches breast cancer awareness campaign 

Saudi Arabia’s Qassim launches breast cancer awareness campaign 

QASSIM: Al-Qassim Health Cluster launched a breast cancer awareness campaign, “Qassim is Rosary,” on Wednesday as part of international Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. 

The Qassim Health Assembly said that more than 180 of its health centers and facilities have been designated to conduct initial examinations for the early detection of breast cancer.

The campaign, targeting women aged between 18-60, aims to educate the community about the dangers and causes of breast cancer, as well as methods of prevention and early detection. 

It also encourages women to book mammogram appointments at clinics available in the region. 

The event also featured stories of women who recovered from breast cancer as well as folkloric performances.

The awareness campaign will be held at women’s government facilities, universities and colleges, and parks.