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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia today expressed deep concern about the increasing hostile, racist and inhuman rhetoric against refugees in general, and Muslim refugees in particular.

The kingdom called on states and humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and the media to abandon any racist speech and contribute to raising awareness and responsibility in order to provide the necessary protection for the displaced and refugees who fled the fire of unfair authorities and terrorist groups.

This came today in the kingdom's speech delivered by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Adviser Saad bin Abdullah Al-Saad before a meeting of the General Assembly on Agenda Item 130: “Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin, with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers.”

Al-Saad said, "We are facing an unprecedented humanitarian disaster since Second World War as the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirms that there are nearly 20 million refugees and 40 million displaced people, numbers that are increasing every day amid lack of funding and absence of appropriate mechanisms for protection. The Syrian crisis is the biggest humanitarian tragedy of the twentieth century. The number of forced refugees and displaced people is more than half of Syria's population as the number of forced refugees reached more than four million people, according to the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the number of the displaced exceeded seven and a half million people, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Syrian refugees fleeing to neighboring countries have been a major challenge in trying to meet the basic needs of the refugees, provision of shelter, education and health care in order to preserve the dignity of refugees and ensure their protection."

Al-Saad added, "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is always ready to cooperate with various United Nations organs to deal with this worsening humanitarian disaster by working to provide adequate solutions to protect and provide appropriate financial support and provide support to countries receiving refugees.

Al-Saad explained that "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has received since the beginning of the Syrian crisis 2.5 million Syrian refugees and has been careful not to treat them as refugees or put them in refugee camps in order to preserve their dignity and safety, and gave them complete freedom of movement, and awarded those who wanted to stay in the kingdom, who have reached hundreds of thousands, legal residence like the rest of expatriates, with all consequent rights to free health care, work and education as the number of Syrian students totaled more than 100 thousand Syrian students receiving free education. Saudi efforts have not been confined to receiving and hosting the Syrian brothers after their humanitarian tragedy in their country, but extended to include support and care for millions of Syrian refugees in their country's neighboring states, Jordan, Lebanon and other states. The efforts included providing humanitarian assistance in coordination with the governments of their host countries, as well as with international humanitarian relief organizations, whether through financial or in-kind support."
Al-Saad explained that the value of the humanitarian assistance provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for brotherly Syrians amounted to about $ 700 million, according to statistics of the third International Donors Conference, held in the State of Kuwait on March 31, 2015 to support the humanitarian situation in Syria, including government aid and the popular campaign, which was launched in 2012 under the title of "National Campaign to Support Brothers in Syria." The humanitarian aid also included providing food, health, residential and educational services, as well as the establishment of Saudi specialist clinics in various refugee camps most important of which is Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan and in the border crossings refugee camps as these specialized clinics were able to provide all kinds of vaccines, preventive treatments, medical care and surgical procedures. Furthermore, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid for other campaigns to accommodate a large number of special humanitarian cases of Syrian families in both Lebanon and Syria.

Al-Saad said, "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is deeply concerned about the increasing hostile, racist and inhuman rhetoric against refugees in general, and Muslim refugees in particular and we call on states and humanitarian agencies, civil society organizations and the media to abandon any racist speech and contribute to raising awareness and responsibility in order to provide the necessary protection for the displaced and refugees who fled the fire of unfair authorities and terrorist groups."

Al-Saad added, "My country's delegation would like to emphasize some important points: concrete steps must be taken to address this humanitarian disaster, and not just words of sympathy and expressions of concern. We must not allow fear from the risk of terrorist attacks and the escalation of racist rhetoric to make us loose the spirit of solidarity with refugees and provide them with protection and not subject them to persecution and discrimination in accordance with international law and humanitarian norms. We must work to find appropriate international mechanisms according to the standards of assuming common responsibility among countries."

Al-Saad concluded, "The most important thing we can do to resolve the refugee issue is to address the root causes of the crises that cause them to seek refuge outside their home countries. Most important of them are political crises. Therefore, once again, we recall our call for serious work towards a political solution to the Syrian crisis according to Geneva Declaration-1 promptly and practically, and not just by slogans or attempts to circumvent the will of the Syrian people, prolong the human suffering and increase numbers of Syrian refugees