Perpetrators of ideology of hatred and racism must be confronted: Muslim World League chief

22/08/20

MWL Secretary-General Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa speaks at the second Media Forum of the Union of OIC News Agencies. (SPA)

RIYADH: The secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, has stressed the need for promoting coexistence among followers of different faiths and cultures.

Speaking at an online forum of the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA-OIC), he called on everyone to confront perpetrators of the ideology of hatred and racism to achieve lasting global peace.

He said Islam promotes peace and harmony and respects diversity. In this regard, the MWL chief cited the “Covenant of Madinah” drawn up by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which embodied the principles of coexistence in Islam, celebrated civic values, and preserved the legitimate rights and freedoms of all members of society.

Al-Issa also referred to the Makkah Declaration signed last year and endorsed by 1,200 muftis and 4,500 Muslim scholars representing different schools of thought. He said the declaration reiterated the Islamic principles of equality, human rights, and coexistence.

Condemning all elements bent on driving a wedge between different cultures and religions, the MWL chief said peaceful coexistence is the only way forward and promotion of peace is a religious, moral, and humanitarian duty.

The UNA-OIC is keen on hosting international organizations and opening doors for discussion to promote peace and harmony to ensure global peace.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Saudi official Sarah Al-Tamimi recognized for her anti-human trafficking efforts

Time: 29 July, 2020

Vice-chair of the Saudi National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, Sarah Al-Tamimi, is reviewing the exhibit which includes works of local Saudi artists who volunteered to create works of art around trafficking that can be utilized in their campaign, which was done through the volunteer unit at Human Rights Committee. (Supplied)
  • The report, globally recognized as the most comprehensive analysis of anti-trafficking efforts

RIYADH: Coinciding with World Trafficking Day, the vice-chair of Saudi Arabia’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, Sarah Al-Tamimi, has been nominated by the UN Office in Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for her efforts in raising awareness against human trafficking in the Kingdom.

This year, UNODC’s campaign focused for the first time on profiling people that work in human trafficking. Nominations came from various offices around the world and Al-Tamimi was the only person from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to be chosen.

“Enhancing quality of life for all is a key pillar of Vision 2030, which is a goal we also strive for at the committee,” she said.

The US State Department upgraded Saudi Arabia’s ranking in its latest annual Trafficking in Persons Report.

The report, globally recognized as the most comprehensive analysis of anti-trafficking efforts, raised the status of Saudi Arabia from “tier 3” to “tier 2 watch list.”

It highlighted improvements in inter-ministry coordination, greater transparency and data-sharing and “significantly increased” numbers of prosecutions and convictions under the Kingdom’s anti-trafficking laws.

Al-Tamimi said that this is “an achievement we are proud of. Our goal is to reach tier 1.”

She joined the fight against human trafficking when she joined the committee in October 2019. One of her responsibilities was developing strategy.

In March, the Kingdom launched its first National Referral Mechanism. The mechanism coordinates the responsibilities of all relevant Saudi authorities in the protection of victims and the prosecution of trafficking-in-persons crimes.

“Overseeing the National Referral Mechanism is the best practice to tackle this crime,” she said.

In February, she was appointed the committee’s vice-chair. Her work includes coordination with various ministries and authorities that work together as a national team.

She oversees training programs at the committee with partners at the UNODC Office for the GCC region and the International Organization for Migration as part of her capacity-building strategy, along with coordinating protection responses for victims and potential victims of trafficking.

“Human trafficking is a crime that knows no borders, therefore neither can we who fight it,” said Al-Tamimi. “Combatting human trafficking, therefore, requires the participation of a variety of international and local actors that goes far beyond the public sector and operates in many areas –ranging from cyberspace to private-sector supply chains.”

The Kingdom’s work on countering human trafficking falls under the “four Ps of anti-trafficking”: partnerships, prevention, protection and prosecution.

“The most vulnerable are the ones who are most likely to be victims,” she added.

This article was first published in Arab News

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Opposing sides in Yemen accept Saudi proposal to implement Riyadh agreement

Time: 29 July 2020

RIYADH: An official source on Tuesday night said that the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) have accepted a proposal by Saudi Arabia designed to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.

The proposal includes the continuation of the ceasefire that came into effect on June 22, and an announcement by the STC that it is abandoning self-rule in favor of the power-sharing Riyadh Agreement, and will appoint a governor and security director for Aden governorate. The Yemeni prime minister will form a government that includes representatives of both northern and southern Yemen within 30 days. In addition, opposing military forces will leave Aden governorate and retreat from Abyan.

Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman thanked Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and the STC for their support of the Saudi effort to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement.

“I am optimistic and confident about its implementation and the parties coming together to put the interests of the Yemeni people first,” he said.

The Kingdom’s efforts in encouraging political leaders to talk to each other, resolve their differences and reach a consensus on the implementation of the agreement shows the potential for resolving the disagreements in Yemen peacefully through dialogue, he added.

“A major goal of the coalition to support the legitimate Yemeni government is the security, stability and return of Yemen as an active member of the Gulf and the Arab world. The Riyadh Agreement is a key factor in reaching this, in addition to supporting the efforts of the UN envoy to Yemen,” said Prince Khalid.

“The consent of the Yemeni parties to accelerate the implementation of the agreement reflects a serious desire for dialogue, the resolution of disputes, acceptance of each other, the pursuit of political partnership, and support for a comprehensive political solution to end the crisis.”

Saudi Minister for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir Tweeted: “The mechanism to accelerate the implementation of the Riyadh agreement represents an important step towards activating state institutions to serve all Yemeni citizens, in addition to supporting UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Yemen.”

The source said that with the assistance of the UAE, representatives from the two Yemini sides met in Riyadh and agreed to the proposal as an acceptable solution to the obstacles that have prevented the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement, which was signed on Nov. 5, 2019.

They also agreed to prioritize the interests of the Yemeni people, make preparations for the government to operate from Aden, launch development projects in liberated areas, and work to end the crisis in Yemen in cooperation with the UN and its envoy.

The source added that the Saudi authorities welcomed the positive responses from the Yemeni president and the delegations of the government and the STC, while stressing the importance of both sides adhering to the agreement.

He also reaffirmed the continued support of the Saudi-led Arab coalition for the legitimate Yemeni government and the continuation of UN efforts to reach a comprehensive political solution to the crisis, in accordance with the wishes of the Yemeni people.

This article was first published in Arab News

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