NEW YORK: Saudi Arabia has urged the need for greater international efforts toward disaster relief assistance at the UN in New York.
It came as the Kingdom addressed the UN Sixth Committee, the body’s primary forum for legal questions.
The 76th session of the UN General Assembly was held Monday to discuss agenda item 87, “the protection of persons in the event of disasters.”
In a speech, Nidaa Abu Ali, a member of the Kingdom’s permanent delegation to the UN in New York, addressed item 87 as a “fundamental principle” of humanitarianism.
Abu Ali said that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic “demonstrated the fast-paced speed at which disasters occur,” urging the need for a global response framework and cooperation in disaster situations.
She added that the Kingdom is a leading country in implementing strong and immediate measures in response to emergency crises while also assisting at the international level by providing humanitarian relief and economic assistance to developing countries.
Abu Ali noted that since its establishment in 2015, the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center has contributed to meeting urgent needs in cooperation with international organizations by combating disasters and food scarcity through financial and logistical support. During the Kingdom’s 2020 G20 Presidency, Abu Ali said that the most notable effort in combating the global pandemic and salvaging the global economy was the $11 billion allocated for medical support in developing countries.
On a national level, Abu Ali stressed the Kingdom’s initiative, associated with the Sustainable Development Goals, to activate a national strategy to reduce disaster risks, integrating measures into local development activities.
The strategy will aid in the reduction of risk, especially in vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
In her final comments, Abu Ali urged the need to find a common legal framework to facilitate international humanitarian aid and international cooperation.
She expressed the Kingdom’s support for preparing an international legal instrument and convention to ensure the protection of people during times of disaster in a manner that does not conflict with the sovereignty or national legislation of countries around the world.
ALULA: Important sources of Saudi heritage in AlUla, Taima, and Khyber will be better protected as part of a new deal between the Royal Commission for AlUla and King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives.
It comes as part of efforts by the RCU to protect heritage material in the Kingdom.
The three-year agreement includes the establishment of a center to preserve manuscripts affiliated with the Al-Mamalek Institute, which launched last April as part of the Journey Through Time Masterplan.
The Masterplan is an international center for archaeological research, the preservation of historical sites, the documentation of history and oral heritage, and skills training.
The agreement aligns with the RCU’s objectives to promote the archaeological, tourism, culture, education, arts and environmental sectors by promoting the region’s historical landmarks.
Eng. Amr Al-Madani, CEO of RCU, said that the commission is playing its role in promoting and developing its works through agreements with various sectors, and is increasing its impact in the fields it supervises.
He added that the agreement will focus on historical perspectives, including people, their stories and the heritage of all three locations. The social lives, authenticity and cultures of AlUla, Taima and Khyber will also be represented, and will boost the profile of the trio as tourist destinations.
Al-Madani said that RCU is proud of its role in strengthening and developing the performance of nonprofit institutions, promoting their activities and boosting their impact in the development field for AlUla residents.
Through works, programs and agreements with various sectors, RCU aims to achieve AlUla’s vision and increase sustainable development.
Inspired by the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and its three pillars — “vibrant society, thriving economy and ambitious nation” — RCU’s heritage sector forms a central part of AlUla’s mission.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia confirmed three new COVID-19 related deaths on Wednesday, raising the total number of fatalities to 8,770.
The Ministry of Health confirmed 47 new cases reported in the Kingdom in the previous 24 hours, meaning 548,065 people have now contracted the disease. Of the total number of cases, 84 remain in critical condition.
According to the ministry, the highest number of cases were recorded in the capital Riyadh with 14, followed by Jeddah with 10, Makkah and Taif recorded three cases each , and Tabuk confirmed two cases.
The health ministry also announced that 58 patients had recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries in the Kingdom to 537,095.
Over 44.9 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered since the Kingdom’s immunization campaign started. More than 20.9 million people have been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Justice Walid Al-Samaani announced on Wednesday that lawyers and beneficiaries are now able to enter courts without the need for a prior appointment.
The ministry said that the decision coincides with the government's easing of health precautionary measures, but added that anyone entering the judicial headquarters must have received two doses of the vaccine. It also said that the decision will be evaluated within 30 days.
The coronavirus pandemic has affected over 242 million people globally and the death toll has reached around 4.93 million.
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Wednesday held talks with US envoy to Iran Robert Malley in the capital, Riyadh, on ways to curb Iran’s violations and destabilizing regional activity.
During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral cooperation between the Kingdom and the US on the Iranian nuclear deal and ongoing international negotiations to revive the agreement.
Tehran has stopped honoring some of its commitments under a 2015 nuclear deal and has been holding up negotiations aimed at reviving the landmark accord that scales back its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief, sparking concern from the UN nuclear watchdog agency.
Prince Faisal and Malley also spoke about intensifying joint efforts to address Iranian violations of international agreements and treaties.
The two sides also discussed the importance of strengthening joint action to stop Iranian support for terrorist militias that threaten security and stability in the Middle East and the world.
Earlier on Wednesday, Malley met with Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir.
RIYADH: The Saudi capital was on Wednesday gearing up for an extraordinary evening of musical entertainment at the opening ceremony of this year’s Riyadh Season.
Taking place under the title Imagine More, the event will be staged near to the extended Boulevard zone and broadcast live with more than 2,760 drones capturing every moment.
Tickets for the ceremony, starting at 7 p.m., were sold out within one hour of going on sale and the lucky holders will be treated to a global parade including more than 1,500 costumed participants performing the traditional folkloric Samri dance.
Shows will include a Harley-Davidson custom bike display, fireworks, and a concert performed by the Cuban-American rapper Pitbull.
An estimated 7 million people visited the first Riyadh Season in 2019 and this year’s festival of activities will offer more than 7,500 events held on an area covering 5.4 million square meters.
Viewers in New York, London, Newcastle, Dubai, Kuwait, and Doha are expected to be among those watching the opening ceremony.
Just before the big event, Reem Abdullah, who works in business development, came with her friends to attend the opening ceremony and expressed her excitement and joy for this year’s season.
“I’m looking forward to the parade, mostly the fireworks. I also heard that there’s going to be Pitbull, really looking forward to that because I know most of his music” she told Arab News.
“My favourite zone in the season is Winter Wonderland. I love winter festivals, I love the weather, the design, and the décor, it’s really magical,” she added.
Ema Muradavic from Montenegro and her husband Yasin Ghali from Syria came together for the evening and were surprised how organized the event was.
“It looks like the event is going to be spectacular tonight, and everything is going to be just fine and I hope that the event will measure up with our expectations,” Muradavic told Arab News.
She mentioned that this is her first time to visit Riyadh season “It looks like it’s going to be very fun…it looks awesome.”
As for Ghali, he is most excited about the car shows that will take place in Riyadh this year as he considers himself a lover of speed cars.
“I’m excited to see the McLarens, the Audis and Ferraris in one place,” he said.
JEDDAH: Saudi border patrols in Jazan, Najran, and Asir on Tuesday thwarted attempts to smuggle more than one ton of cannabis and 66 tons of qat into the Kingdom.
Border Guard spokesman, Col. Misfir Al-Qarni, said 150 people were arrested in connection with the smuggling bid, 47 of them Saudis, and 103 illegal immigrants of which 89 were Ethiopian, 10 Yemenis, three Somalis, and one Eritrean.
Al-Qarni said that the border guards will be not lax in carrying out their duties to confront anyone who tries to endanger the security of the Kingdom or transfer such substances through its borders illegally.
Saudi authorities, in cooperation with their UAE counterparts, recently prevented an attempt to sneak 1.5 million amphetamine pills into the Kingdom through Batha port hidden in a truck carrying grain.
A Saudi citizen, and a resident of Syria were arrested in Riyadh.
In May, Saudi authorities foiled a plot to smuggle almost 1,000 kg of hashish into the Kingdom through its southern borders. Twenty-four people — 18 Ethiopians, four Yemenis and two Saudis. were arrested. AN Jeddah