2003 News Story

Kingdom asserts at UN its adherence to human rights

Ambassador to the United Nations Fawzi Shobokshi, addressing in New York today the third committee (social, humanitarian and cultural) of the 58th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, asserted Saudi Arabia's adherence to human rights, as endorsed by Shariah [Islamic Law]. Human rights, he declared, are as ancient as mankind itself, and since God granted these rights, they are permanent, and not subject to abridgement or cancellation. The Kingdom's leadership, he said, has the unique privilege and honor to be Guardian of Islam's Holy Sites. Saudi Arabia today, as in the past, is founded on Islam and its teachings, which advocate justice, freedom, and the dignity of mankind.

Ambassador Shobokshi went on to point out that Saudi Arabia has ratified four of the six international conventions relating to human rights, and is currently considering the other two. The Kingdom has also provided financial assistance to UN funds dealing with human rights. Moreover, the Saudi education system ensures that human rights are brought to the attention of all students at all levels. Today's world, he said, faces great challenges: it is a world where double standards are not restricted to political issues but extend to philosophical positions, and where certain media falsely claim that Islam is a source of terrorism and violence, adding: "The practices of Israel with regard to the occupied Palestinian territories are a perfect example of double standards in human rights."