2005 News Story

Cabinet: UN, terrorism, sustainable development, WTO, human rights

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz today chaired the regular weekly session of the Council of Ministers and expressed the hope that the upcoming 60th session in New York of the United Nations General Assembly will take effective and clear decisions on the various issues that stand in the way of achieving development and stability for the peoples of the world. He stressed the importance of the UN's role in fighting terrorism, highlighted Saudi Arabia's initiative in February in calling for, hosting, and organizing an international counter-terrorism conference that had wide international participation; and pointed to the conference’s Declaration of Riyadh, which called for the establishment of an international counter-terrorism center. He also stressed the Kingdom's concern to see the United Nations and its affiliates boost their roles in fighting backwardness and poverty and in contributing effectively to the enable developing countries achieve sustainable development.

King Abdullah went on to reiterate Saudi Arabia’s continued contribution, directly and through regional and international organizations, to supporting modernization and development projects in various countries of the world; and the Kingdom’s commitment to, and pioneering role in, the stability of the oil market to achieve a balance between the interests of producers and those of consumers. The King also expressed the hope that the United Nations will re-vitalize its organizational structures to ensure the just and equitable representation of all countries of the world, including granting the Islamic world representation appropriate to its importance, size and world-wide spread.

Turning to the Islamic community, King Fahd praised the recent meeting in Makkah of Muslim scholars, intellectuals and economists, preparatory to the upcoming extraordinary summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He then briefed the Cabinet on his talks with visiting Palestinian Prime Minister Ahmad Quraia' which dealt with the Palestinian issue in general and Saudi support for the Palestinian issue and people at various levels.

The Cabinet expressed its appreciation of the achievements of the security forces in their pursuit of the deviant group and confronting all forms of terrorism; and commended the bilateral agreement signed by Saudi Arabia and the United States on access to markets in the trade of goods and services, as a basic step prior to completion this year of the Kingdom’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Commenting on the start of the new academic year 2005-2006, the Cabinet congratulated all the students and expressed confidence that teachers will follow sound educational methods promoting the values of tolerance, moderation, seriousness, and scientific learning.

Turning to its agenda, the Cabinet passed a number of resolutions, including approval of the continuation of the importation of Palestinian commodities in accordance with the Cabinet resolution of April 1, 2001 [01/01/1422], with the government shouldering the customs tariffs for one more year, effective October 14, 2005 [11/09/1426].

The Cabinet also approved the regulations for the Human Rights Commission, which is the sole governmental body to provide views and consultations on human rights in the Kingdom, reporting directly to the Prime Minister. As a legal personality, the commission will be completely independent in practicing its mission from its Riyadh base or any of its branches in the Kingdom. The board of directors of the commission will be composed of its chairman, his deputy, a minimum of 18 full-time and 6 part-time members, who will serve for a period of four years, renewable.