2002 News Story

Saudi Arabia assures UN of its adherence to human rights

In a speech before the UN's Human Rights Committee, the Kingdom's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Fawzi Shobokshi reiterated Saudi Arabia's adherence to the concept of human rights, pointing out that the Kingdom is the cradle of Islam, a religion that advocates justice, fraternity, and the equality of all people irrespective of race, nationality or color. The Saudi system, he said, is based on the principles of Islam, and human rights in the Kingdom are derived from the teachings of the Holy Qur'an. Saudi Arabia is signatory to a number of international agreements on human rights, and has enacted laws to ensure the rights of its citizens and residents. He went on to warn against politicization of the issue, advocating that when speaking about human rights, religious beliefs should be taken into account as well as cultural and social customs. He denounced the violation of human rights carried out by Israel in its repressive measures against the Palestinians, terrorizing them, confiscating their properties and destroying their infrastructure. Such practices, he declared, run counter to UN resolutions and the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention.