Visit of King Saud University students to the UN

January 13, 2019

King Saud University 77 female students - Law and Political Science school visited the United Nations’ building on Wednesday 28 November 2018 to meet with the United Nations Country Team. The students wanted to draw linkage between theoretical and practical knowledge in discussing the UN role in terms of conflict resolution and negotiations, peace building and security and protection of Refugees.

The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Nathalie Fustier welcomed the students and mentioned in her speech the formulation of the international system and signing the charter in 1945. Ms. Fustier commemorate the 70th anniversary for the Universal Deceleration of Human Rights stating this year slogan is “Standup for Human Rights”.

Mr. Farid Hamdan, Coordinator of OHCHR’s Technical Cooperation Project in Saudi Arabia   delivered a presentation on the United Nations’ system, its organs and main programs with a special focus on the role of the United Nations in promoting peace and conflict resolution. The questions from the students demonstrated their high level of awareness of the United Nations’ system and asked several questions including but not limited to the UN operations in peace building, peacekeeping, and the Secretary-General counter terrorism strategy. They also asked about the role of Special Envoys of the Secretary-General (SESG) in terms of preventive diplomacy, Mr. Hamdan explained by clarifying the role of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen. The UN Special Envoy works on gathering all conflicting parties for a dialog aiming to resolve conflicts through peaceful measures.

Mr. Amr Elgendy, UNHCR Protection Officer explained the United Nations High Commission for Refugees system and processes on protection of refugees. He described who is considered a refugee, the difference between refugee and migrant, the definition of international protection and people of concern in terms of UNHCR. Mr. Elgendy mentioned the components of international protection and the nature of the principle of non-refoulement, including non-rejection at the border, the cornerstone of international refugee law, which is contained in the 1951. Moreover, he stated that there are 68 Million refugees worldwide, the majority coming from Afghanistan, Syria, and Somali and the biggest UNHCR campsite is in Kenya hosting Somali refugees.

The visit lasted for three hours including 30 minutes presentation by each agency followed by Q&A.