Statements and Webcast
H.E. Mr. Mohsen Ali Faris El-Hazmi, Member of the Majlis Ash Shura
9 June 2011
- Statement: Arabic (Check against delivery)
MOHSEN ALI FARIS EL-HAZMI, Member of the Majlis Ash Shura of Saudi Arabia, noting the harm caused by the HIV/AIDS epidemic, said that the UNAIDS programme focusing on the three zeros had laid out a road map, which his Government hoped to see implemented. The cornerstone of efforts to eliminate HIV/AIDS was prevention, treatment and ensuring reintegration. In Saudi Arabia, the prevalence of the infection among the population of foreign workers was three times higher than among Saudi citizens, so the Government had developed a comprehensive strategy, with the participation of governmental leaders in implementing it. In order to curb the pandemic, the Government focused on strengthening prevention efforts through launching education and awareness campaigns, medical surveys and research. Responsible sexual conduct among those groups most at risk was encouraged, and prenatal screening and examinations of pregnant women were carried out.
He said the country attributed great importance to moral undertakings, and religious leaders were drawn upon to raise awareness and strengthen efforts and protection based on Islamic Sharia through the practice of abstinence, chastity and prohibition of sexual relations outside of the marital context. The Government worked to combat stigmatization of HIV through monitoring programmes. Saudi Arabia had halted the entry of infected individuals, set up treatment centres and supported research efforts. It was coordinating efforts of its Ministries, as well as working with UNAIDS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. It had made donations to the Global Fund. Saudi Arabia respected the commitments made and welcomed all efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.