Saudi Arabia laments dire situation of women in Syria, Palestine

Updated 21 March 2016

Saudi Arabia laments dire situation of women in Syria, Palestine

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has expressed regret and sorrow for the current problems experienced by women in many parts of the world.
They suffer all kinds of violence, exploitation and human trafficking, especially in the occupied Palestinian territories where Palestinian women face serious violations of their human rights by the Israeli occupation forces.
Syrian women also face similar problems and the Kingdom has called on the international community to eradicate such crimes and inhumane practices, and to hold accountable those who commit them.
These facts were part of a speech by Saad bin Abdullah Al-Saad, deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN. He spoke to the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the UN on Friday during the 60th session of the commission, a local publication reported.
“Our meeting confirms the importance of the interest and keenness of the international community toward women’s issues and their sustainable development which was adopted last September within the framework of sustainable development goals,” he said.
“The Kingdom emphasizes its firm stance which strictly rejects introducing terms such as gender, gender identity, comprehensive sexual education, reproductive health and reference to homosexuals in any document issued by the commission,” he said.
“Our interpretation of the term sex in any document issued or to be issued by the UN is represented by male and female, and that any human and family relation will be restricted to the frame of holy matrimony between male and female,” he said. “In the event any of these terms are interpreted out of this frame or intentions, the Kingdom reaffirms its sovereign rights to express full reservation on the implementation of any recommendations that are inconsistent with the principles of our Islamic religion.”
He said: “I would like to point out what was done by the government of Saudi Arabia concerning the political empowerment of Saudi women and their participation as voters and candidates in the municipal elections on Dec. 12, 2015, for the first time in the history of the Kingdom.”
On the subject of education, he said, the enrollment of Saudi females in education establishments amounted to 97.39 percent. “The Kingdom provides free education to all and is committed to the highest standards in the various stages of education. Female enrollment ratio in higher education institutions stands at 51.8 percent and those enrolled in postgraduate programs is increasing following the expansion of the establishment of scientific research centers and the provision of scholarship opportunities for both male and female students to study abroad in various disciplines and specialties.”


Lebanon not expecting new aid pledges at Paris meeting

Updated 10 December 2019

Lebanon not expecting new aid pledges at Paris meeting

  • The political impasse returned to square one on Sunday when a tentative agreement on a new PM unraveled
  • Lebanon has also been in a political impasse since Saad Al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Oct. 29

BEIRUT/PARIS: Lebanon does not expect new aid pledges at conference which France is hosting on Wednesday to press for the quick formation of a new government that can tackle an acute financial crisis.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian urged Lebanon to create a new government swiftly or risk the crisis worsening and threatening the country’s stability.
The economic crisis is the worst since the 1975-90 civil war: a liquidity crunch has led banks to enforce capital controls and the Lebanese pound to slump by one third.
Lebanon has also been in a political impasse since Saad Al-Hariri quit as prime minister on Oct. 29, prompted by protests against the ruling elite, with no agreement on a new government.
Nadim Munla, senior adviser to Hariri, who is running the government as caretaker, told Reuters the Paris meeting would probably signal a readiness to offer support once a government is formed that commits to reforms.
“They will recognize that there is a short-term problem and that if and when a government (is formed) that basically responds to the aspirations of people, most probably the international community will be ready to step in and provide support to Lebanon, or additional support,” he said.
“It is not a pledging conference.”
Lebanon won pledges of over $11 billion at a conference last year conditional on reforms that it has failed to implement. The economic crisis is rooted in years of corruption and waste that have generated one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens.
The political impasse returned to square one on Sunday when a tentative agreement on a new prime minister unraveled.
Hariri is now seen as the only candidate for the post.
He has said he would only lead a cabinet of specialist ministers, believing this is the way to address the economic crisis, attract aid, and satisfy protesters who have been in the streets since Oct. 17 seeking the removal of a political class blamed for corruption and misrule.
But Hezbollah and its allies including President Michel Aoun say the government must include politicians.
“Let’s see the coming few days and if there will be an agreement among the political parties on a formation ... otherwise we might take longer,” Munla said. Hariri would be willing to have politicians in cabinet but they should not be “the regular known faces of previous governments.”