Riyadh- Saudi Arabia has denied Monday receiving official reports from the United Nations on the alleged violations against children in Yemen in light of the leaking of the draft of 2017 UN report on children and armed conflicts.
Saudi Arabia’s Permanent Representative to UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told Asharq Al-Awsat that Riyadh’s mission has not received any official information on what was reported Monday in US newspapers, which claim that Saudi Arabia has committed violations against childhood in Yemen.
Mouallimi said that the Saudi mission to the United Nations has direct contacts with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Special Representative for children and armed conflict Virginia Gamba, and that there is direct exchange of information and full cooperation with them.
Asked whether they have received any official letters from UN officials on what had been raised in a leaked draft report in the US press about the tendency to include Saudi Arabia on the blacklist, Mouallimi responded: “We have not received anything in this regard at all.”
“It’s too early to engage in speculative discussion on this report,” Mouallimi said. But in talks with Guterres and his aides, the ambassador answered when he was asked if Saudis were concerned about the impending Children and Armed Conflict report.
“The Saudis had a positive and constructive exchange of information, and we hope that exchange will result in positive results for all,” Mouallimi added.
Every year, the United Nations prepares a report on children and armed conflict in which it submits to the Secretary-General and is subsequently submitted to the United Nations Security Council.
The UN has previously removed Saudi Arabia from the 2016 report on children and armed conflicts after Riyadh mission clarified many aspects that were hidden from the organization.
During a visit to Kuwait on Sunday, Guterres denied the Saudi-led coalition has put pressure on him over a draft UN report condemning Riyadh for its role in child deaths in Yemen.
“We consider that no pressure would lead to anything,” Guterres told reporters, in remarks posted on the United Nations website.
“There is technical work that is being conducted and, in the end, that will be presented to me. I will make the decision to what I think is the right thing to do.”