On Behalf of King Salman, Foreign Minister Delivers Kingdom’s Speech at UNGA
On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah delivered the speech of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
At the beginning of his speech, the Saudi foreign minister congratulated Dennis Francis on his election as the president of the 78th session of the UNGA, wishing him success. He expressed his gratitude to Csaba Kőrösi for his outstanding efforts during his presidency of the previous session. Prince Faisal also praised the efforts of the UN Secretary-General in enhancing the efficiency of the UN institutions to achieve its goals and fulfill the purposes of its Charter.
The minister commenced the Kingdom’s speech by emphasizing the necessity of states adhering to the UN Charter and the principles of international legitimacy. He expressed the Kingdom’s aspirations for a better future for humanity, founded on mutual respect for the sovereignty and independence of states, their values, non-interference in their internal affairs, peaceful dispute resolution, and refraining from the use or threat of force.
Regarding the Saudi Vision 2030, Prince Faisal stated, “The Saudi Vision 2030 aims to enhance efforts in construction and development to meet the aspirations of future generations, empower women and youth, foster creative and innovative capabilities, and reinforce values of openness, dialogue, tolerance, and coexistence. The Kingdom places great importance on human rights, as its laws include clear provisions aimed at promoting and protecting these rights.”
He highlighted that, through its developmental approach, the Kingdom aims to create a comprehensive and sustainable renaissance, with its central focus and goal being the human being who will drive present development and shape the future through knowledge.
“The Kingdom has issued numerous legislations and amendments to regulations and executive regulations. Enablers have also been provided to enhance the dignity of both citizens and residents, working to maximize their benefits, preserve their lives, ensure a decent livelihood, and provide social protection and care for both,” the minister said.
Moreover, he expressed the Kingdom’s reaffirmation that the security of the Middle East region necessitates the expedited pursuit of a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue. This solution, the minister adds, should be built upon the foundation of international legitimacy resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, guaranteeing the Palestinian people’s right to establish their independent state based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“The Kingdom reiterated its rejection and condemnation of all unilateral actions, which are considered violations and blatant breaches of all international laws. These actions contribute to undermining regional and international peace efforts and hinder the paths of political solutions,” the minister said.
The foreign minister also confirmed the Kingdom’s keenness to support efforts of establishing security and stability, focusing on comprehensive development, making room for dialogue, calming and easing tensions, and urging countries in the region to avoid escalation and focus on exchanging interests and benefits in a way that achieves the hopes and aspirations of the peoples of the region.
The minister of foreign affairs said: “The Kingdom worked to consolidate the principle of collective action to build a better future for the region and the world by hosting several joint regional summits within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council and the League of Arab States with the participation of all countries, including Syria, out of its belief that resolving Syria crisis will contribute to the stability of the region and the world.”
He added: “In an effort by the Kingdom to stabilize the region, it held discussions with Iran, hosted by Baghdad and Muscat, which resulted in the Beijing agreement and resumed diplomatic representation and direct communication between the two countries based on mutual respect for the sovereignty, independence and security of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, and respecting the charters of the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.”
During his speech, the minister reiterated the Kingdom’s emphasis and keenness on the security and stability of the Republic of Yemen and its support for all efforts to resolve the Yemeni crisis, alleviate the human suffering of its people, and push towards reaching political solutions, to restore security and stability to Yemen and ward off the threat to the Kingdom and the region.
He said: “The Kingdom reaffirms its initiative to end the war in Yemen and reach a comprehensive political solution, and supports UN and international efforts to reach a political solution in accordance with the three terms of reference, including Security Council Resolution 2216.”
Concerning the situation in Lebanon, the minister of foreign affairs confirmed that the Kingdom constantly stands by the Lebanese people, and calls on all Lebanese parties to implement comprehensive structural political and economic reforms that will lead to overcoming the current crisis.
He said: “The Kingdom affirms the importance of the Government of Lebanon extending its control over all Lebanese territory, with commitment to the provisions of the relevant Security Council resolutions and the Taif Agreement, in a way that contributes to controlling security, confronting drug smuggling operations and terrorist activities that threaten the security of the region and the world.”
Regarding the situation in Iraq, the minister pointed out that the Kingdom considers the security and stability of Iraq a fundamental pillar of the security and stability of the region, affirming support for its security, development, territorial integrity, Arab identity, and social fabric.
During his speech, the minister expressed the Kingdom’s concern over escalation and military clashes between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces, saying: “In support of efforts to reduce the escalation in Sudan and prevent the crisis from worsening, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took the initiative to host the parties of the conflict in Jeddah, where the Kingdom is making efforts with the US to protect civilians and ensure the delivery of aid to those affected.
The Kingdom has made humanitarian efforts since the beginning of the Sudanese crisis, he said, and carried out maritime evacuation operations for thousands of citizens and nationals of brotherly and friendly countries, employees of the United Nations and international organizations; who were stranded in Sudan.
The Prince said that the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques has issued directives to launch a nationwide campaign to collect donations for the Sudanese people and has also directed the allocation of $100 million in relief and humanitarian assistance to the Sudanese crisis through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center in addition to launching a humanitarian air bridge to transport food, medical and shelter equipment.
In continuation of such efforts, the minister added, the Kingdom has chaired with international partners a high-profile donor conference for Sudan in June during which donor countries pledged more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to Sudan’s crisis.
The minister also reiterated the Kingdom’s position which calls for achieving security and stability in Libya, safeguarding its sovereignty, independence, and territorial unity, and stopping interference in its internal affairs. He also noted that the Kingdom supports a full ceasefire in Libya and calls for an immediate exit of foreign militants and missionaries from Libya according to the Security Council’s resolution 2570 issued in 2021.
On Afghanistan, the Prince said, “The Kingdom reemphasizes the importance of achieving security and stability in Afghanistan, averting the country turning into a safe haven for terrorist organizations, and respecting the basic rights of the Afghan people, including women’s right to education and work,” urging intensified regional and international efforts to provide humanitarian and economic assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people.”
Concerning the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, he renewed the Kingdom’s call for putting an end to the crisis and alleviate its repercussions on international security and stability, stressing the importance of exerting utmost efforts to resolve the crisis peacefully according to international law and safeguarding the security and interests of all parties.
“In continuation of the humanitarian efforts and the efforts of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister in adopting initiatives on the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, and as a result of his efforts with concerned countries and to support international efforts aimed at achieving peace, His Royal Highness had exerted efforts to release a number of prisoners of different nationalities and had also invited Ukraine to attend the 32nd Arab Summit, which was held in Jeddah. The Kingdom hosted an early August meeting of national security advisors and representatives of more than 40 countries and international organizations. The Kingdom confirms its readiness to continue making mediation efforts between the two sides of the crisis,” the foreign minister said.
He also renewed the Kingdom’s call for removing weapons of mass destruction which begins with the realization of the international community of the importance of adhering to existing conventions and legal frameworks to arrive at a world free of nuclear weapons, especially in the Middle East.
The Prince also voiced appreciation for the resolution issued during the extraordinary meeting of foreign ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to discuss the issue of repeated incidents of desecration and burning of copies of the Holy Quran. “The Kingdom commends the Human Rights Council’s adoption of the resolution on countering religious hatred constituting incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence,” he said, adding that the Kingdom calls for enhancing dialogue, understanding, and cooperation between cultures and civilizations to achieve peace and harmony and adhering to relevant international human rights charters and laws.
Talking about the stability of oil markets, the minister of foreign affairs said: “The stability of global energy markets is an important pillar for the global economy and its growth, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen to maintain the stability, reliability, sustainability, and security of global oil markets, and meet the needs of consumers to ensure a healthy global economy that benefits producers and consumers.”
He added that “Saudi Arabia always underscores the importance of collective cooperation with OPEC Plus” to stabilize the global oil markets and enhance their reliability, sustainability, and security. The OPEC Plus policy of closely monitoring the markets and adopting a precautionary approach has contributed, he said, to the stability and balance of the oil markets, as was evident in the stability witnessed by the oil markets in 2022, compared to other energy markets, such as natural gas and coal markets.
On climate change, the minister of foreign affairs said: “Recognizing the importance of dealing with the challenges of climate change, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pays great attention to contributing to reducing emissions and adapting to its effects, and supports the gradual and responsible transition towards clean, low-emission energy systems that use all sources to be more sustainable, adding that achieving these goals requires ongoing international cooperation and concerted efforts, taking into consideration the varying national and regional circumstances, and the comprehensive economic and social goals of sustainable development.”
He added: “Out of its awareness and to consolidate its global leadership role in the field of sustainability, the Kingdom announced the “Saudi Green” and “Middle East Green” initiatives to lead global efforts to protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance public health and quality of life, improve renewable energy, develop technologies to reduce and remove emissions and achieve sustainable development. Saudi Arabia has also announced that it will double its contributions to reducing emissions compared to 2015 by 278 million tons annually by 2030, and aiming to reach net zero by applying the circular carbon economy approach.
To strengthen international efforts to secure water resources around the world, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, has recently announced the establishment of a global water organization that aims to develop and integrate the efforts of countries and organizations to ensure the sustainability of water resources to enhance access to it for all and to address water challenges in a comprehensive manner, the minister added.
Regarding hosting Expo 2030, the minister of foreign affairs said: “Based on its ambitious future vision, the Kingdom has submitted a request to host Expo 2030 under the theme “The Era of Change: Together for a foresighted tomorrow.” The Kingdom will work to achieve the Expo goal of anticipating the future of the planet and the advanced technology that that future holds with a focus on sustainable development goals.” He voiced the Kingdom’s thanks and appreciation to the countries that announced their support for this candidacy and called on all countries to support the Kingdom’s hosting of the World Expo 2030.
The Kingdom’s delegation included Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Cabinet Member and Envoy for Climate Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, Minister of Economy and Planning Faisal bin Fadel Al-Ibrahim, the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry for International Multilateral Affairs Dr. Abdurrahman Al-Rassi, the Kingdom’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Wasel, and Director General of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdurrahman Al-Daoud.