Saudi Arabia calls for equal protection of civilians during conflicts

November 13, 2009

During an address at the United Nations yesterday, Saudi Arabia stressed the importance of respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of countries in order to prevent deadly conflicts. Speaking at the UN Security Council’s special debate on the protection of civilians during armed conflicts, Saudi Ambassador to the U. N. Khalid Al-Nafisi noted that the best way to prevent non-combatant deaths is to avoid behaviors that trigger conflict. Furthermore, he called for the equal protection of civilians during wars, without double standards or biases based on race or nationality.

Ambassador Al-Nafisi urged Security Council members to take into consideration the views of all countries during debates over resolutions, thereby boosting the credibility and effectiveness of the Council and increasing the openness and transparency of its work. He added that debate over the protection of civilians must not be restricted to the Security Council, but taken up by other UN bodies as well.

Commenting on the Goldstone Report regarding Israel’s war in Gaza, Ambassador Al-Nafisi stated that the report proved there were flagrant violations of international law, resulting in the deaths of 1,420 Palestinians, including 1,170 civilians.

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