2003 News Story

Human Rights Conference concludes with 'Riyadh Declaration'

The Human Rights in Peace and War Conference concluded today with the issuance of the 'Riyadh Declaration', which presented a number of recommendations. Respect for human life and dignity, it said, is the source for activation of human rights and human duties, the combination of which constitutes the basic platform for achieving balance in society. As God Almighty has decreed, a human being commands respect, regardless of race, color or sex. Breach of human dignity and assault against human life are crimes deserving severe punishment, according to God's law. Putting a human being in custody without legal basis is totally banned by Islamic laws. Disrespect for privacy, assault on a person's private belongings, and spreading rumors are all violations of human rights. Tolerance of faith is required by Islam, which also prohibits coercing people to follow a certain religion.

The Declaration called for strict equilibrium between scientific and technological progress on the one hand, and social values and principles on the other. Terrorism and extremism, it stated, are contrary to the spirit of religious values. The source of relationships that bind societies together is justice, peace, acculturation and co-existence. Men and women are partners in shouldering life's responsibilities. A family based on legal marriage is the sole foundation for building a secure society. Respect for people's right to defend themselves and their right for self-determination are among the main sources of international security and peace. Fighting poverty, disease and ignorance is both a religious duty and an international responsibility.

Today's sessions included one presided over by Vice-President of the Saudi Red Crescent Society Dr. Saleh bin Hamad Al-Tuwaijiri on the role of the Red Crescent and Red Cross societies in developing international humanitarian law; and one by Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Dr. Ali Al-Namlah on the rights of women and children in Saudi Arabia.