Saudi Arabia reiterated its full sovereign right to reserve the implementation of any recommendations that were part of a United Nations document related to full and effective participation of women if they contradict the principles of the religion of Islam as well as that of the Saudi legislation and laws.
This was stated by Mona Al-Ghamdi, member of the Kingdom’s delegation, while making closing remarks at the 65th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW65), the UN’s largest annual gathering on gender equality and women’s empowerment, held at the UN headquarters in New York.
She referred to some of the recommendations, which are objectionable to the Kingdom, in the final document approved by CSW65.
The theme of the conference, held from March 15 to 26 was “Women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
Mona said that the Kingdom was keen to engage from the first day of the negotiation process on the final document in a transparent and positive manner, and was ready to offer compromises in order to reach a consensual solution that takes into account the viewpoints of all the parties.
She articulated the Kingdom’s dissatisfaction over inclusion of a number of controversial wordings and phrases about which the Kingdom had expressed its position ever since the beginning of the negotiations in clear and explicit terms.
“Accordingly, the Saudi delegation would like to reiterate that the reference to gender in the text precisely means “male or female” and that the reference to the family in the text means the family that is based on marriage between a man and a woman.
“In the event that these terms deviate from their intentions, the Kingdom affirms its full sovereign right to reserve the implementation of any of such recommendations,” she said.
Mona thanked members of the Kingdom’s delegation to the session of the CSW65 for their efforts to achieve consensus throughout the five-week long negotiation period on the final document.
This year the final document focused on women’s full and effective participation and their decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
The Kingdom affirmed its commitment to do everything that would protect women’s rights and achieve their advancement at local, regional and international levels.
“It also exerts efforts to enhance their role in social development as well as to enable them in an effective and real way to participate in high-level decision-making in all governmental and private sectors, socially, economically and politically,” she said.
Mona emphasized that Saudi Arabia considers women as an active member in the national development process in all its fields, and that they are the core of the family and society and a fundamental member in achieving the Vision 2030, saying that the Vision has spurred reforms in the status of women and their empowerment, which will facilitate them to perform their national duties.