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Awwad: Crown Prince leads the wheel of reform, foremost being human rights
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 12 - 12 - 2019

BRUSSELS — Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) President Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad said on Thursday that Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman has brought about qualitative leap in Saudi Arabia by leading the wheel of reforms, development, change and modernization of all state facilities, the foremost of which is human rights.
He made the remarks while addressing members of the Political and Security Committee of the European Union in Brussels. Al-Awwad held a meeting with 17 members of the committee in which Ambassador Saad Al-Arifi, head of the Saudi Mission to the European Union, was also present.
The HRC chief reiterated the Kingdom's keenness to protect and promote human rights, saying that it has fulfilled the international obligations to which the Kingdom is a party.
"The Kingdom is among 36 countries that submitted all its international reports among a total of 197 states," he said while attributing this to the support being accorded to human rights by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.
Referring to the lofty position of the Kingdom with regard to protecting human rights, Al-Awwad highlighted the remarkable progress made under the leadership of the Crown Prince.
"During the past three years, there have been 60 reform decisions dealing with the human rights, of which 22 decisions were pertaining to women empowerment. In the forefront of these reforms was the launch of Kingdom's Vision 2030 whose architect is Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman," he said, noting that the focus of the Vision is human being who is pivotal to development and that the Vision included goals related to human rights.
The HRC chief also noted that a number of orders and decisions have been issued with regard to human rights, in addition to the regulations that were modified to comply with the Kingdom's policies towards human rights issues.
"Our country is open to the world and still looks forward to realizing more achievements under its leadership, and seeks to achieve principles and values of human rights. It looks forward to the prevalence of these values at the global level in a manner that promotes efforts for sustainable development and the protection and promotion of human rights," he said.
Al-Awwad underscored the Kingdom's keenness to combat terrorism as it represents one of the major aspects of human rights violations.
"The Kingdom has enacted a law to combat terrorist crimes and their funding, and issued its executive regulations as a strict law to confront and punish the perpetrators of terrorism. It also fought extremism by launching a number of centers and projects, including the "Tibyan" project, which is aimed at disseminating the values of moderation, tolerance, and rejecting extremism.
"They also include the Intellectual Warfare Center, which is concerned with confronting the roots of extremism and terrorism, and the Global Moderation Center (Itidal) for Combating Extremist Ideologies that is concerned with monitoring and analyzing extremist thought to confront and prevent it, in cooperation with relevant countries and organizations," he said.
"The Kingdom also accorded top priority to the issue of combating corruption," he said while noting that a royal order was issued to form a supreme committee to combat corruption and eradicate it in view of its negative effects on human rights protection and development.
During the meeting, discussions were held on ways of further enhancing cooperation between the Kingdom and the European Union in the social and humanitarian fields.

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