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HRC: Human rights are not slogans, but practices on the ground Al-Awwad: The Kingdom is collaborating with world countries to combat Coronavirus
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 26 - 03 - 2020

RIYADH — The President of the Human Rights Commission Dr. Awwad Bin Saleh Al-Awwad stated that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been a pioneer in the field of human rights.
The Kingdom has been gearing up to protect and promote human rights for the last few years, which witnessed substantial transformations and fundamental reforms, through a range of laws and decisions that together constitute a broad framework for human rights protection.
Al-Awwad stressed that the Kingdom has responded to the new Coronavirus with a number of precautionary measures, taking into account human rights and has not exercised any discrimination between citizens and residents in this regard.
It has also adopted a package of economic support measures to address the economic impacts of such epidemic on citizens and residents alike.
Saudi Arabia, as the current President of the G20, has held an extraordinary virtual G20 summit on the new Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday.
In his statement related to this announcement, Al-Awwad declared that this summit represents an extension of the Kingdom's efforts on the international scene to lead global joint action for the benefit of human beings regardless of their gender, nationality, or religion.
The Kingdom, he stated, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman — may God protect them — is keen on achieving cooperation for the good of all humanity.
Al-Awwad also indicated that human rights are not merely slogans, but rather are practices on the ground. During crises, he added, all people should work to address any threats to human rights, emphasizing that this effective move on the part of Saudi Arabia's wise leadership emanates from the Kingdom's humanitarian and pioneering role towards the international community.
It also reflects the Kingdom's awareness of the importance of this influential role in alleviating human suffering and its continuation to help the needy around the world, especially during such health crises.
Al-Awwad pointed out that the Kingdom is working with world countries to combat the Coronavirus and reduce its effects on the various aspects of life, namely on health, development, economy and social life through the largest global economic and political gathering.
He added that these efforts were preceded by the Kingdom's provision of humanitarian assistance. In this context, the Kingdom provided financial support in an amount of $10 million to the World Health Organization (WHO) in response to the urgent appeal launched by the organization to all countries aimed at intensifying efforts to take global measures to combat the spread of Coronavirus.
In addition the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action provided health assistance to Yemen, including medicines and preventive and curative medical supplies worth $3.5 million, to combat the new Corona epidemic.
The Center also provided assistance to China by having a number of international companies secure medical equipment and supplies to fight the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Al-Awwad stressed the importance of consolidating international efforts to address the potential effects of the Coronavirus, noting that this action requires the engagement and cooperation of countries and organizations in combating this pandemic, uniting visions, and providing support to competent international institutions.
In his statement, the president of the HRC noted the measures taken by the Kingdom's government to prevent the spread of the new Coronavirus, including the Royal Order issued by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques providing for the enforcement of a partial curfew for a period of 21 days.
Al-Awwad said that this curfew order reflects the Kingdom's keenness on maintaining the safety of all citizens and residents living on the Kingdom's territories in light of the continued global spread of the epidemic.
In addition, this measure and its likes are fully consistent with human rights considerations and can be seen as an extension of the previous precautionary decisions and measures aimed at providing all kinds of assistance in terms of health facilities and services and effective health care.
Al-Awwad affirmed that these government measures clearly and explicitly include providing all citizens and residents, without discrimination, with a safe access to the necessary health services.
They enable all people to report and inquire about suspected cases through a designated phone number by the Ministry of Health. They also focus on the high quality of the service and its scientific and medical suitability to the nature of this fast contagious virus.

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