On the 17thDecember, the United Nations Human Rights Working Group coordinated under the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and in collaboration with the Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC) an event to celebrate the UDHR 70th anniversary. The event took place at the Saudi HRC premises in Riyadh and hosted around 60 individuals from different sectors (Diplomats, members of the European Union delegation, Municipalities and Ministries representatives, members of Shura council and members of United Nations agencies operating in Saudi Arabia). The event acknowledged the contribution of the UDHR articles in paving the way for a constructive and global human rights system.

The 2-hour event hosted five professional speakers from different backgrounds highlighting first, the Kingdom’s efforts in protecting and promoting human rights principles through acceding to human rights treaties and additional protocols. Second, the protective role of the judicial system towards human rights violations. Third, a look into the United Nations human rights system, and the role of the United Nations Human Rights Council in the protection and promotion of rights. And finally the Kingdom’s commitment towards United Nations mechanisms in relation to Report delivery and access to Special Rapporteurs.This event, and for the first time, paved the way for an agreement and a future collaboration between the Saudi HRC and the United Nations Country team to celebrate upcoming human rights themes for the year 2019.

CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE UNITED NATIONS OFFICE IN SAUDI ARABIA

- Firas Gharaibeh, the RC a.i, presented a welcoming note where he highlighted the need of the UDHR document in the promotion and protection of human rights, emphasized the evident efforts of the Kingdom towards human rights, and most importantly the fruitful collaboration between the United Nations agencies in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC).

- Faird Hamdan, the OHCHR coordinator for the Technical Cooperation Project, and one of the main speakers for the event, presented the role of the UDHR in both the development of the international human rights law and as a key premise for future rights. In his presentation, Farid also highlighted the main pillars and structure of the international human rights system.

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